By Jayla Burton, Program Manager
There are over 2 million Californians living next to toxic oil and gas drilling in their neighborhoods.
This is 2 million Californians exposed to harmful chemicals that may increase breast cancer risk.
Along with our partners in the Last Chance Alliance coalition, we have three simple demands for California Governor Gavin Newsom: stop approving new fossil fuel projects, cease current oil extraction, and roll out a health and safety buffer zone between fossil fuel projects and where people live work and play.
Newsom instructed the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) to establish rules to protect public health from impacts of oil and gas extraction. And finally, as a result of our tireless activism and a new scientific assessment — which has shown that a 3,200 foot buffer zone (also known as setback) is the bare minimum needed to protect people from worst health outcomes including increased risk of breast cancer — CalGEM has issued draft rule to do so.
Now is the time to join in the action alongside our environmental justice leaders and demand:
A majority of the residents on the frontlines of oil and gas drilling are from low-income or Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities. A minimum setback of 3,200 feet that encompasses both new and existing oil and gas sites will protect frontline communities, the same communities that policymakers have allowed oil companies to sacrifice in the name of profit for a hundred years. Join us in taking a stand against this environmental injustice and calling for our health be put before the fossil fuel industry’s interests.
Public comments from California residents will be prioritized, but comments are accepted from people across the country. Even if you don’t live in California – please voice your opinion. As with many environmental policies, implementation often starts in California and emboldens other states to take action.