Local Officials Against Fracking

Dear Governor Brown,

California is on the precipice of scaling up its unconventional oil and gas development in the Monterey Shale formation. Yet, the best available science warns us that the process of unconventional fossil fuel development including shale tight oil and gas development using hydraulic fracturing, acidization, and other forms of well stimulation will exacerbate many of our environmental threats, particularly local air and water pollution and climate disruption. Moreover, because these techniques employ and produce extremely dangerous chemicals, the water that is used – sometimes millions of gallons at a time – is permanently removed from our supply. In the midst of a historic drought we cannot afford to simply dispose of this precious resource.

As local officials sworn to protect our communities and safeguard California’s public health, economies, and environment, we respectfully urge you to enact a moratorium on shale tight oil and gas development using hydraulic fracturing and other forms of well stimulation until we have thoroughly and properly evaluated the potential health, economic, and environmental impacts on the state and the local communities we represent.

New York State has maintained a moratorium on fracking since 2010. Governor Cuomo has been quoted, “My point all along is to make the decision on hydrofracking based on the facts and on the science.” The moratorium in New York State was recently extended until 2015 because the facts and the science leave many serious questions unanswered. In contrast, California is using fracking and other unconventional forms of extraction before studies are complete.

Therefore, we respectfully urge you to enact a moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing until the following independent assessments have been completed.

• A comprehensive health impact assessment of the entire high-volume extraction process, including but not limited to direct and indirect health effects and cumulative health impacts;

• A thorough analysis that considers all potentially negative socioeconomic impacts, including but not limited to increased demands on local governments, first responders and law enforcement, and the effects of drilling on property values and home mortgages, existing businesses and economies, and local community character; and

• A thorough study of cumulative environmental impacts, including but not limited to the impacts on the rural landscape, water resources and threats of contamination, wildlife, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions, and the lack of safe alternatives for wastewater disposal.

In light of the known environmental and health risks, we urge you to immediately place a moratorium on shale tight oil and gas development until it is determined by independent scientific studies whether and under which conditions these forms of fossil fuel development can be deployed in a manner that protects public health and safety, the conservation of the State’s natural resources, and helps to achieve the climate goals set out by AB 32.

As local officials from across California, we share with you the responsibility to protect and defend our people and our state. Unless and until the facts and the science prove that high-volume hydraulic fracturing is safe, California needs a moratorium to keep it safe.

Now more than ever before, Californians need your strong leadership to protect our state and climate. Thank you for giving this urgent issue your full consideration.

Sincerely,

Susan L. Adams, Marin County Supervisor
Jesse Arreguin, Berkeley City Councilmember
John Avalos, San Francisco Supervisor
Vinnie Bacon, Vice Mayor of Fremont
Ana Barrera, CFT Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Committee Member
Tony Barrera, Salinas City Councilmember
Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley
Mike Bonin, Los Angeles City Councilmember
Lili Bosse, Mayor of Beverly Hills
London Breed, San Francisco Supervisor
Desley Brooks, Berkeley City Councilmember
Ken Brown, Sonoma City Councilmember
David Campos, San Francisco Supervisor
Laurie Capitelli, Berkeley City Councilmember
Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County Supervisor
Jose Castañeda, Salinas City Councilmember
David Chiu, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President
Al Clark, Carpinteria City Councilmember
Pamela Comstock, Santa Cruz City Councilmember
W. Clarke Conway, Brisbane Councilmember
Neal Coonerty, Santa Cruz County Supervisor
Jeff Cooper, Culver City Councilmember
Xilonin Cruz-Gonzales, Azusa Unified School District Board President
Madison Davis, Brisbane Councilmember
Bill Freeman, Hartnell Community College District Board Trustee
Lucas Frerichs, Davis City Councilmember
Laura Friedman, Glendale City Councilmember
Phyllis Taub Greenleaf, Live Oak School Board Trustee, Santa Cruz
Alan Haffa, Monterey City Councilmember
Lesa Heebner, Deputy Mayor of Solana Beach
Matt Huerta, Salinas Planning Commissioner
Minane Jameson, Hayward Area Recreation and Parks District Board Member
Dan Kalb, Oakland City Councilmember
Ash Kalra, San Jose City Councilmember
Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember
Andy Katz, Director of East Bay Municipal Utility District
Kevin KcKeown, Santa Monica City Councilmember
Patricia Kernighan, Oakland City Council President
Steve Kinsey, Marin County Supervisor
Paul Koretz, Los Angeles City Councilmember
Clifford R. Lentz, Mayor of Brisbane
John Leopold, Santa Cruz County Supervisor
Paul Lewin, Palm Springs City Councilmember
Lori S. Liu, Mayor Pro Tem of Brisbane
Linda Maio, Berkeley City Councilmember
Eric Mar, San Francisco Supervisor
Margaret McAustin, Pasadena City Councilmember
Gayle McLaughlin, Mayor of Richmond
John Mirisch, Beverly Hills City Councilmember
Daryl Moore, Berkeley City Councilmember
Edward Neal, Lemore City Councilmember
Terry O’Connell, Brisbane Councilmember
Terry O’Day, Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tempore
Susan Ornelas, Arcata City Councilmember
Jane Parker, Monterey County Supervisor
Micah Posner, Santa Cruz City Councilmember
Marylou Powers, Mayor of Galt
Jim Provenza, Yolo County Supervisor
Carmen Ramírez, Oxnard Mayor Pro Tempore
Katie Rice, Marin County Supervisor
Robert Rivas, San Benito County Supervisor
Albert Robles, Carson City Councilmember
Dave Roberts, San Diego County Supervisor
Meghan Sahli-Wells, Mayor of Culver City
Brian Schmidt, Vice Chair of the Santa Clara Valley Water District
Kathrin Sears, President of the Marin County Board of Supervisors
Zareh Sinanyan, Mayor of Glendale
Susan Sperling, President of Chabot College
David Weinsoff, Mayor of Fairfax
Susan Wengraf, Berkeley City Councilmember
Scott Wiener, San Francisco Supervisor
Ted Winterer, Santa Monica City Councilmember
Dan Wolk, Mayor Pro Tempore of Davis
Kriss Worthington, Berkeley City Councilmember
Peter Zahn, Solana Beach Councilmember
David Zito, Solana Beach Councilmember

Sources:
Center for Biological Diversity, Dirty Dozen: The 12 most commonly used air toxics in unconventional oil development in the Los Angeles Basin (2013)
Lustgarten, Abraham, ProPublica.org, Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies? (2008)
Howarth, Robert, et al., Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations, Climactic Change (Mar. 31, 2011)

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