This is Part 2 of the Blog-Series : "Fracking Up The Golden State"

If you haven't already, please read Part 1 : The Insinuating Implications

The Democratic Party & SB 4

Environmental Blindness & Sustainable Rhetoric

        “The anti-fracking movement began with the Golden State’s characteristic optimism. When environmental groups discovered that regulators were completely asleep at the wheel on fracking in the most environmentally minded state in the nation, they sprung into action.” 1 ~ RL Miller, Earth Island Journal ~ The overwhelming majority support for a moratorium or ban on fracking made the prospects of our environmental endeavor even more optimistic. “More than 70% of voters favor banning or heavily regulating chemical injections into the ground to tap oil and natural gas.”  2  ~ Evan Halper, LA Times ~ The unanimous support from environmental groups, the undeniable majority of voter opinion in California, and the democratic base's newly substantiated resolution calling for a fracking moratorium gave us all a euphoric sense of preordained accomplishment.

Gillie Waddington of Enfield, N.Y., raises a fist Jan. 23 during a rally against hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells at the Legislative Office Building in Albany, N.Y. President Barack Obama didn't use the F-word during his recent State of the Union speech, nor did he mention the technology used to get it, commonly known as fracking. That's because the word has become a lightning rod.
"In short, the spring was filled with promise.”
~ RL Miller ~
       In May of this year, "Assemblymember Holly Mitchell, a Democrat from Culver City, had introduced a bill calling for a five-year fracking moratorium. She watered it down to one year to attract votes. It failed on the Assembly floor, with 17 assemblymembers abstaining. Seventeen abstentions sent a strong message: The Speaker of the Assembly, John A. Perez (LA), didn't want a moratorium.” 1 ~ RL Miller ~

        We started this bill session with 10 Fracking bills, 8 of which have failed, 1 is currently in submission, and Fran Pavley's SB 4. This was a seemingly improbable course of action from our legislative leaders. During a legislative session in which the California Democratic Party had a super-majority, Democrats had the capacity to pass whatever form of legislation they wanted to. Unfortunately, the Democrats in our state Assembly chose to let Holly Mitchell's AB 1323 fail alongside 7 other fracking bills. Not surprisingly, all 25 Republicans in the Assembly voted no on AB 1323. What is surprising, however, is the fact that 12 Democrats voted in opposition to the party base who worked diligently to pass a moratorium resolution at this year's convention. The resolution had more supporters, sponsors and authors than every other resolution passed at this year's State Convention.

        The most heinous part of this bill's failure was the hypocrisy of the party who 'championed' a campaign in 2012 called "Get Out The Vote", an initiative to get people to the polls to cast a ballot. Apparently, the argument is that voting is essential to the democratic process and, supposedly, "every vote counts!". Apparently that memo didn't resonate with 18 of our Democrats. “Had 18 Democrats voted “yes” instead of abstaining, the bill would have passed. When asked why they didn't vote for a moratorium, many said they were planning to vote for SB 4 instead.”  3 ~ Lauren Steiner, Common Dreams ~

        SB 4 proposes "disclosure to neighbors, disclosure of toxic chemicals to a limited extent (the exact amount of disclosure was hotly debated), and disclosure on a state database other than the voluntary FracFocus website maintained by the industry. The bill also promised a study of fracking to be completed by January 2015, and it required frackers to pull fracking-specific permits. That last requirement was among the most important. It meant that CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, would be triggered and a state agency would have to write an environmental impact report before any permit could be issued for any single fracking project.”  1 ~ RL Miller ~ The bill received support from many of the more moderate green groups who saw the regulatory promises as a "step in the right direction." The more liberal green groups and activists, on the other hand, were appalled by the sheer weakness of SB 4 considering the overwhelming support that there had been for something far more vigilant on the issue.

        To make the situation more unbearable, last second changes to the bill would mean that “fracking would be able to continue without permits until 2015. Yes, you read that right — the bill intended to make frackers get permits now says that the state regulatory agency shall allow all of the currently ongoing, unpermitted fracking and acidizing to keep on fracking and acidizing without permits until regulations are written in 2015.” 1 ~ RL Miller ~  She explains further that “a poorly written amendment states that the state regulatory agency shall allow frackers to keep on frackin’, so long as they certify compliance with… well, the amendment isn't very clear as to what frackers need to certify compliance.  It also muddies the waters regarding CEQA. Environmentalists contend that it could withdraw projects from CEQA review entirely, and they complain that the state oil/gas regulatory agency is an industry lapdog that exempts virtually every project from CEQA.”  1

        The LA Times released this statement in an editorial shortly after these new amendments were added to the bill: “The Legislature should be embarrassed by its reckless attitude on this issue. Several bills to put the brakes on fracking until more is learned, similar to New York state's moratorium on the practice, died during this legislative session. SB 4, written by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), is the one bill remaining. Rather than halt fracking, it sought to regulate it.” 4  ~ The Editorial Board, LA Times ~ “At this point SB 4 is so flawed that it would be better to kill it and press for more serious legislation next year.”

        During one of the hearings on SB 4, Mike Gatto stated : "It's too bad this bill has caused such divisiveness among environmental groups. I'd like to see us find some common ground on this issue."  Well, first off, the divisiveness is not at all based on the issue of Fracking and wither or not the practice is safe. The divisiveness is entirely contingent on whether the passing of this bill will allow us to ever pass a moratorium or ban on Fracking in this state in the foreseeable future. Mike Gatto says he wants to see common ground? If that's the case, he should revisit his memories from the month before that hearing. He should recall the previous hearings where more than 60 individuals representing nearly 50 different organizations, groups and councils stood in line to favorably comment on the proposed Moratorium bills. All of these environmental organizations he spoke about as being “divisive”---all of them demanded a fracking moratorium at the beginning of the legislative session. The only divisiveness at that hearing was the despicable discontinuity of what the majority of Californians were demanding and how our legislative representatives chose to blatantly undermine and ignore those voices.

        “SB4 is California's equivalent of a Nebraska bill changing the route of the Keystone XL pipeline, but not stopping or even slowing down our headlong rush to burn all the oil.” And thanks to the new amendments, SB 4 is set to officially grant "a green light to major players currently claiming "regulatory uncertainty" as a reason not to dive headlong into fracking up the Golden State.”  5 ~ RL Miller, Daily Kos ~ Supporting green groups changed their minds during the final days of SB 4's defiling amendment procedures. Coming full circle, the once optimistic and united coalition of green groups were now united once again in humiliating defeat. “The final amendments were so bad that the California League of Conservation Voters, NRDC, Environmental Working Group, and Clean Water Action pulled their support of SB4." 1 ~ RL Miller ~  The LA Times added : “Key regulatory elements of SB 4, passed by the Assembly, have been so watered down as to be useless.” 4  ~ The Editorial Board, LA Times ~

A new fracking law won't satisfy some environmental groups who have been pushing Gov. Jerry Brown for a moratorium. State Senator Fran Pavley originally supported a ban, but went on to author a controversial piece of legislation that adds some disclosure requirements but may be vulnerable to abuse, according to lawyers familiar with CEQA, the state’s environmental quality act.
       “One would think that environmentally aware Governor Jerry Brown and the Democrats in the California legislature who passed AB 32 [The Fran Pavley-sponsored Global Warming Solutions Act, designed to cut California’s carbon pollution within the next seven years] would be lining up to oppose fracking.”  6 ~ RL Miller, Daily Kos ~ The party’s rank and file passed a unanimous resolution at this year's California Democratic Party State Convention demanding a serious consideration for a fracking Moratorium. One would think that such a resolution would actually serve some relevant purpose for the way that our elected Democrats would vote. One would think that California Democrats would have gotten the memo regarding the state party’s newly approved resolutions.

        In a year where Democrats controlled a supermajority on nearly all levels of the democratic process in California, one would truly think that these elected state officials would be able to pass legislation that truly reflected the democratic base that they supposedly represent. This is the same democratic base that is wholly responsible for the very positions that these elected officials currently hold. They worked on their campaigns, registered voters within their districts, raised the funding to finance their campaigns, made the phone calls to get out the vote, organized rallies, set up events, attracted volunteers, knocked on thousands of doors; The members of the democratic party's base are single-handedly responsible for getting these elected officials into the seats they currently occupy. And now, given the vocal and resolute demands from the democratic party's base, one would assume that something would change in accordance to these peremptory requests. One would also assume that our Democratic state leaders would vote in support of legislative bills that actually reflected our overbearing pleas for a fracking moratorium; that truly echoed the hard work, determination and persistence that we endured in order to get such a resolution passed in the first place.

        One would rationally conclude that these democratic leaders, who claim to champion the issue of climate change, would incessantly fight for legislation that would sincerely address our catastrophic climate crisis. If one was as naive as my past self, one would think that the overwhelming speciousness favoring a moratorium or ban on fracking would necessarily induce tangible legislation reflecting the convictions of their constituent base. Unfortunately, as RL Miller concludes, “One would be wrong.”  6 ~ RL Miller, Daily Kos ~

        How could we fail with AB 1323 when we had so much hope for it's passing? Perhaps our elected Democratic representatives were distracted by more important things. Maybe they were just too busy figuring out what to do with $195,306 7 of contributions from the oil industry---The world may never know; but i certainly have a pretty good guess as to which of the two seems more plausible. After all, when was the last time we've seen anything important come to fruition thanks to a legislative body?

“Big Oil [is] the biggest spender in California politics. The Western States Petroleum Association has already spent $2,308,790 on lobbying efforts in the first half of this year.”  3 ~ Lauren Steiner ~
      I think many of us now understand this monetary deception corroding our political system. As Lauren Steiner explains: “In states where there are regulations on fracking, they aren’t enforced either by design, or because agencies are both underfunded and understaffed by state governments often bought and paid for by Big Oil.”  3 ~ Lauren Steiner ~

       Here is a more in depth look into the reason we may have just ignited a Fracking Goldrush in the state of California. How much money did your Democratic Assembly Member get paid to dismantle our fracking moratoriums? How much were they compensated to explicitly ignore your voices? What is their reasonable price for allowing our planet's future to rest in the hands of oil and gas companies? Find out here: 7 ~ MapLight.org , Campaign Contributions ~

       Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 4 into law, granting our Democratic politicians the perfect cop-out when they are asked to consider another fracking bill : "we already passed a fracking bill last year," they will say. “It's likely that the California legislature will consider fracking "safely regulated," check it off the to-do list, and get back to its main job of repairing years of damage caused by Republican budget cuts. There will be no appetite for tougher laws, just as there is no hope for single-payer legislation in the post-Obamacare national landscape."  5 ~ RL Miller, Daily Kos ~  Not only has the passing of this fracking bill made it more difficult to conceivably pass a moratorium bill next year, the very existence of an ongoing study from SB 4 will make a proposed moratorium nearly impossible. Pavley's bill now calls for a study that won't be submitting its findings until 2015. They won't put funding into a 17 month study only to have that study shut down by a Moratorium bill 6 months into it.

        In a press release from Sierra Club California following the passage of SB 4, Kathryn Phillips writes : “We knew the Governor would sign SB 4 so it’s not a surprise.  But it is still disappointing.  This bill landed far away from its intent and its problems outweighed its benefits by the time the governor had negotiated amendments with the oil industry.” 8 ~ Kathryn Phillips, Sierra Club California ~  “California’s political leaders need to call for a time out.  We need a moratorium on fracking.  It makes no sense in this time of climate change to be advancing a technology that will create more greenhouse gas emissions, pollute water, foul the air, and make our economy even more dependent on oil.  We need clean energy solutions, not filthy fracking.”

Environmentalism For Dummies

Another Fracking Tirade

Why are we so adamant about conducting a study on things that we already know about? Why are we searching for things that we can find from other states? Other studies?
Here’s a wonderful overview of what we already know about fracking and its' dangers from Lauren Steiner in a Common Dreams post from early August :
       “We already know the chemicals used in fracking. They were disclosed to the Pennsylvania Department of the Environment and the US House Energy and Commerce Committee. Of the thousand of possible products frackers use, 650 contain chemicals that are known toxins or carcinogens. In the Inglewood Oil Field, the operator also released the list of 40 chemicals used. They include benzene, toluene, lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, and formaldehyde, all known carcinogens.”

        “Making matters worse, groundwater monitoring is to be conducted by the oil company, a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house.”

        “A permit would be denied if it presents “an unreasonable risk… We already know that fracking fluid includes multiple carcinogens and the re-injection of fracking waste water causes and exacerbates earthquakes. Are these considered reasonable risks? If so, what risk would fracking have to pose before this bill would prohibit it? The bill also directs other agencies to make regulations, failing to specify what those regulations should be.”

        “Plenty of independent studies already exist, further calling the rationale for the need for “more studies” into question. Duke University 2011, 2012, and 2013 studies all linked methane contamination of groundwater in Pennsylvania to fracking.”

        “A Colorado School of Public Health study found fracking increases cancer risk, contributing to serious neurological and respiratory problems in people living near fracked wells. Fracking’s brief history in the U.S. shows one thing clearly: it creates havoc wherever it goes.”

        “Even if regulations could magically make fracking safe, it uses too much water in a drought prone state.” 3 ~ Lauren Steiner,  Common Dreams ~

      I do have a lot of respect for Sen. Pavley as a person and I have been in accordance with most everything else that she has worked on during her tenure. This includes the Democratic party as well. I am progressive and a registered Democrat, but more importantly, I am a philosopher, an environmentalist, a scientist, and I have no tolerance for hypocrisy, and I am not going to let manipulation be our party’s legacy moving forward. I love the ideals that this party stands for and i am vigilant in more issues than one. Like the LGBT movement did last year, we need a similar response from the environmental movement.

        As democrats, we can re-tweet the O.F.A. all we want to when they are handing out their climate denial awards to Republicans, and I encourage that. What must change, however, is our forcefully blind advocacy for hydraulic fracturing as a cleaner technology. This advocacy stands in direct opposition to what this party claims to stand for with regards to environmental responsibility. RL Miller has been unequivocal and persistent regarding the reality that unconventional fracking is about to bring to the Golden-State. She writes that “unlike other states, California is being fracked mostly for oil, not natural gas.” 1 ~ RL Miller ~  “Fracking uses a lot of water; California doesn’t have much water. Disposal of fracking fluids underground may cause earthquakes; California is already earthquake-prone. Fracking may cause groundwater contamination; California’s oil-rich counties feed the world. And unlike other states where fracking for natural gas could be justified as an arguably cleaner-than-coal alternative, fracking California’s dirty oil was unequivocally bad for the climate.”

“The Monterey Shale’s carbon footprint is comparable to the Keystone XL pipeline and would delay AB32, California’s landmark global warming law, for 80 years.” ~ RL Miller ~
       She then defines the stark difference between our state and the rest of the nation. “The good news: no natural gas means no faucets on fire. The bad news: Monterey Shale oil is particularly heavy sour crude, to use industry slang. The California Air Resources Board finds that some Monterey Shale oil is the dirtiest and most carbon-intensive in the world, topping even the Canadian Tarsands.”  1 ~ RL Miller ~

        “With the revelation that the Monterey Shale in the Central Valley might contain 15 billion barrels of frackable oil, the practice is expected to boom.” 4  ~ The Editorial Board, LA Times ~ We must realize the facts: The new methods of fracking and acidization that we are employing in California are being used to extract oil that is more carbon intensive than any other known source of fossil fuels. And 76% of our known shale reserves contain this carbon bomb of a resource. Only 24% of our known reserves contain Natural Gas. Fracking for this energy source in California is a contradiction in it's own right. Here in California, and across the nation, we consistently talk about Natural Gas as a cleaner, burning fuel. When compared in it's purely extracted form, and compared side by side with coal under combustion, Natural Gas is indeed half as bad as coal. Due to the leakage of methane, neglecting any and all other forms of toxic and damaging repercussions, the fracking of natural gas is a process that is statistically twice as destructive to our atmosphere than coal. That’s a stark difference from the often cited “half as bad” rhetoric. Have all the natural gas you want, but stop fracking for it.

        “Many concerned about climate change, including President Obama, have embraced hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. In his recent climate speech, the president went so far as to lump gas with renewables as clean energy.” 9  ~ Anthony R. Ingraffea, NY Times ~ “As a longtime oil and gas engineer who helped develop shale fracking techniques for the Energy Department, I can assure you that this gas is not “clean.” Because of leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, the gas extracted from shale deposits is not a “bridge” to a renewable energy future — it’s a gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments.”

        Anthony Ingraffea clearly explains the fallacy of the "cleaner" natural gas our nation so desperately seeks : “Methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. When burned, natural gas emits half the carbon dioxide of coal, but methane leakage eviscerates this advantage because of its heat-trapping power.” 9  ~ Anthony R. Ingraffea ~ “Recent measurements by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at gas and oil fields in California, Colorado and Utah found methane leakage rates of 2.3 percent to 17 percent of annual production, in the range my colleagues at Cornell and I predicted some years ago.”

“They haven’t talked about the inevitable increase in carbon dioxide emissions from oil fracking. The bill’s only mention of climate is a vague promise to complete a study by 2015 that looks at “potential greenhouse gas emissions” along with the impacts on wildlife and native plants — presumably greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning oil have not been studied enough by the California Air Resources Board, federal scientists, or the global IPCC. When asked about the Monterey Shale’s contribution to climate change, legislators look sorrowful and then pivot to discussing what’s politically feasible.” ~ RL Miller ~
       In California, we are set to allow the fracking of 1 part natural gas and 3 parts sour, crude oil as we prepare to handout oil and gas fracking permits without hesitation and without review. We must put an end to this stubborn and reckless path towards climate catastrophe. Stop poisoning my water and fracking the hell out of our planet; stop filling my air with volatile chemicals and acids; and please, for the sake of sanity, start embracing real viable solutions, not just the seemingly less harmful ones. RL additionally shares my greatest frustration with our current elected representatives on the passing of SB 4 : “liberal California Democratic legislators acknowledge that fracking 15 billion barrels of dirty oil would exacerbate climate change, but they don’t seem to care.” 1 ~ RL Miller ~

        It’s irresponsible and misleading for our party to misuse the title of being “environmentally friendly” or “environmental champions” unless we are going to really start doing these things. We are a party of compromise on a lot of issues, but like we did for the LGBT community in 2012, we need to be moral leaders for this nation. Earth is not a thing; things on earth are not just commodities; and the environment is not a thing that we can treat as a secondary issue any longer. Regulations are not acceptable with the issue of Fracking. The very things it aims to study are the very things that have become problematic everywhere else in this country. “A 2011 study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research concluded that unless leaks can be kept below 2 percent, gas lacks any climate advantage over coal. And a study released this May by Climate Central, a group of scientists and journalists studying climate change, concluded that the 50 percent climate advantage of natural gas over coal is unlikely to be achieved over the next three to four decades.” 9  ~ Anthony R. Ingraffea ~ We are far from a viable, safe, alternative form of fossil fuels. We must keep the carbon in the ground and truly move forward with a clean renewable energy transition. Regulatory bills like SB 4 are contorted supplements designed to ease the symptoms of our fossil fuel addiction. We need an intervention and we need it now. We must kick the habit of oil and gas extraction in order to prevent the climate bubble from bursting. We are running out of time and we must resist the savory economic prospects of dabbling into resources that will effectively unleash the most green-house-gas intensive crude on this planet. “We don’t have that long to address climate change — the next two decades are crucial.” 9  ~ Anthony R. Ingraffea ~ “Gas and oil wells that lose their structural integrity also leak methane and other contaminants outside their casings and into the atmosphere and water wells. Multiple industry studies show that about 5 percent of all oil and gas wells leak immediately because of integrity issues, with increasing rates of leakage over time. With hundreds of thousands of new wells expected, this problem is neither negligible nor preventable with current technology... The gas and oil industries have been trying to solve this problem for decades.” And yet, were are at an impasse in our progress because “jubilant Democrats think they’ve solved a problem by greenlighting Occidental to extract as much of the 15 billion barrels of dirty oil as it can before permits are needed in 2015. Expect a whole lotta frackin’ this fall and into next year.”  1 ~ RL Miller ~

The A-B-C's of Real Compromise

Environmentalists have
called for a moratorium or
an all out ban on fracking.
       SB 4 is not a compromise. This bill takes the pre-established concessions and completely undermines them, so please, don't even get yourself started with the fallacious defense that SB 4 is in any way a settlement that genuinely reflects our demands. Californians favor a moratorium, very strict regulations or an outright ban. The democratic party's base has called for a moratorium on fracking. The party's platform specifically calls for serious action on climate change and the need to ween ourselves away from oil resources--not to recklessly indulge in the dirtiest type that we can possibly extract. Finally, environmentalists have proposed, supported, and lobbied for the fracking moratoriums that were introduced at the beginning of this legislative session in spite of most of us wanting an all out ban on fracking. We demanded a ban, and we settled for a moratorium bill---that was the compromise.

        Think about the LGBT movement for a moment. That was polarizing as well: Bigots on one side demanding heterosexual couples only. And LGBT folks on the other side crying out for equal treatment in a country known for freedom and justice under the law. How did we react? We sided with the side of logic and rationality. There were no concessions with respect to marriage equality. If there has been any trade-off with the LGBT community, it has been our country's singular focus on legalizing marriage instead of legalizing full inalienable humanity across the nation. Marriage equality is a compromise from full rights and freedoms under constitutional law for the LGBT community.

        What if we took the issue of marriage equality (a bargain deal of Full Equality), and, using Fran Pavley’s definition of a compromise, suppose we wanted to claim that there should be even more concessions made with the respect to marriage equality. For whatever reason, let's say we made an additional compromise in such a way that only Gay Men, not Lesbian Women, were given the right to marry? How would that trade-off sound to you? Does that not sound a tad bit off? Would that not be an outrageous concession to propose? (Considering the inequity of men and women that still persists to this day, I am almost shocked that the republican party hasn’t proposed such a concept already).

        Now, let’s be clear with where we are in this fracking debate: Environmentalists are demanding an outright ban. On the flip-side, Oil and Gas companies are throwing childish tantrums because they really really want to Frack. They would rather have complete freedom to drill holes and hydraulically fracture up and down the state as often as they damn well please.

"We have to face up to the prospect of weaning ourselves
off our addiction to oil and coal. It is as simple as that."  
~ Robin McKie ~
       To Frack, or Not to Frack, that is the question. These positions are obviously polarized, but in this instance, my willfully blinded democrats, the real compromise is a Moratorium on fracking and any other forms of unconventional oil and gas extraction. To undermine and weaken an already compromised agreement is deceptive, despicable and unjustified. We demand a ban; and we will settle for a moratorium. Sure, SB 4 has passed, but trust me, things are just getting started for the environmental activists in this state.

        So, my fellow Democrats, please, cool it with the rhetorical statements of environmental concern if you do not mean it. Or, better yet, keep making these statements while actually “Acting” like you truly give a shit. When Gov. Brown tweets #ActOnClimate, he better damn well mean it. I am tired of these non sequiturs and these repetitive statements that bear no tangible fruit nor action.

        While i am a progressive Democrat, conservative and moderate excuses will not change the fact that the issue of climate change is a moral imperative. We need to walk the talk and truly act on the issue climate change. Environmentalists have been pretty darn persistent with Senator Pavley and the other elected officials in letting them know our thoughts. And just like their forceful blindness to the facts that already exist on fracking, our representatives have completely ignored our voices. “We have renewable wind, water, solar and energy-efficiency technology options now. We can scale these quickly and affordably, creating economic growth, jobs and a truly clean energy future to address climate change. Political will is the missing ingredient. Meaningful carbon reduction is impossible so long as the fossil fuel industry is allowed so much influence over our energy policies and regulatory agencies. Policy makers need to listen to the voices of independent scientists while there is still time.”  9 ~ Anthony R. Ingraffea ~

Continue to the extended part for "My Letter To Senator Pavley"

And check out my fracking version of "Hotel California" ---> "Gasland, California"

Dear Senator Pavley, I'm From California, Not From Gasland

        If she happens to find this one day, I have a letter for what I would tell her right about her persistent push to pass this bill despite our pleas, despite the views of the majority of Californians, and in spite of her environmental record:

Dear Sen. Pavley,

       Do you read your mail? Do you see the rallies? Did you not listen to the public comments at the hearings? I spoke directly to you, looking you in the eyes with my sincerest of pleas. Why do you ignore us? Why are you blind to our frustration? Why do you pretend to care? That's worse than not caring... At least you wouldn't be lying to the people you represent. Look at some of the key considerations, just in case you missed the news over the past month and a half:

1.        The California Democratic Party passed a resolution demanding that a moratorium be placed on fracking---Did you not get the memo?

2.        The Environmental Caucus worked their tails off to get the support for this resolution. More than 40 individuals, groups and organizations sponsored, endorsed or signed onto it. That actually says something; it says a great deal actually. It means : "We actually give a shit about our climate! So please, stop fracking in California!"

3.        Lauren Steiner has been relentless in her activism. And what do you do each time she puts on more pressure? You and the legislatures turned around and amended the bill to something even worse.

4.        RL Miller has been a champion on this issue. She has worked laboriously to ensure that your party's base understood the true implications of California Fracking. She authored the aforementioned resolution which passed with unanimous support. She held your name in high accord despite the outrageous amendments; despite your glorious victory statements on behalf of a bill gone sour. And she has done wonders to mend the division that your bill caused within the environmental community. If there is a democrat in this state worthy of such acclaim to be called an "environmental champion", it is her. I suggest you read her blogs when you are done cutting deals with the oil companies.

        Sen. Pavley, are completely out of sync with what the environmental movement is supposed to represent. You are completely wrong with this bill and it's passing will do more harm than good. You have no idea what Fracking is going to bring to California, let alone what the burning of this oil will do to our planet.

        You severely underestimate the moral magnitude of this decision. You are not special; you are the same as all of the others. Even Governor Brown can tweet his rhetorical “Act On Climate” rubbish while standing on a somewhat decent environmental record. The truth is, the real Environmentalists out there love this planet without condition. And unconditional love has no boundaries. With that kind of love, you do whatever it takes to keep your planet safe. I will not allow you to disgracefully represent the people who actually care. I am sick of the way you fool your constituents, myself included, and I am tired of the way our elected officials continue to treat the planet as property. It is the only earth we have, and I am fed up with this indirect degradation that you and your colleagues continue to facilitate.

      Senator Pavley, you have ignored the damage and undermined the consequences of your own bill. To stand proudly in defense of your authored SB 4, while touting any sort of environmental prowess that you think you may have is a horrendous contradiction. SB 4 is not an anti-fracking bill in the slightest. Regulatory bills do nothing to stop what they intend to regulate and in the end, you are going to frack away the very purpose of your own GHG bill. Your legislation has made the situation worse as SB 4 will effectively smother any chance of getting a moratorium passed. People are fed up with this nonsense and the fracking you are studying is already killing people. Our representatives are allowing these corporate morons to puncture the hell out of our beautiful state. We need leadership and we need our party to divest its’ integrity from the slavery of oil and gas. We are fed up with our representatives and bureaucrats in Sacramento continuing the devastation our planet and public health for the sake of corporate handouts. We need real, sustainable solutions. “California is better served growing its clean energy economy than fracking up the Golden State.”  1 ~ RL Miller ~

        We've already been reduced to what we can reasonably expect under the law. And now you want to put in a lousy, regulatory bill, that has been gutted, defiled and dismantled... that will do absolutely nothing to stop fracking, that has no moratorium in it, and that will essentially expand fracking in California. Regulations don't regulate the practice, they regulate the people, the environmentalists, from expressing our discontent with fracking. This environmental proposal we are putting forward requires no further discussion, this is an Ethical catastrophe that you are carelessly unleashing.

        “Politics and government can and do make a difference. The rise in global temperatures, and its consequences, is happening. This is a battle of ideas as much as for our civilisation. It is a battle that has to be won.”  11 ~ Will Hutton, The Observer ~


Damien Luzzo

Welcome to Gasland, California

        Personally, when I pause to think about the illusions we masquerade and I compare them to the fracked up truth, I can’t help but think of the song: “Hotel of California” (actually a fitting song considering that this song is about California and the song’s story takes place in the heart of Monterey Shale : LA County).

        As Don Henley described the song’s meaning :

       “The lyrics weave a surrealistic tale in which a weary traveler checks into a luxury hotel. The hotel at first appears inviting and tempting but it turns out to be a nightmarish place where "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." The song is an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s. Don Henley called it "our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles” and later reiterated: "It's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about."  9 ~ Wikipedia.org , Hotel California ~

Gasland, California
Welcoming you to Gasland, California

Here's a Fracking Well (There's a Fracking Well)
What a Fracking Hell

They're Frackin' It Up in The Gasland, California

Here they acidize (There they Acidize)
They are full of lies

Helpless is the feeling
When they turn on the device
They say : "We want to start frackin right here,
Name your selling price."

Out there in the distance,
You can hear their fracking beast,
They will steal your drinking water,
As the methane is released

One Day in September,
He was Knocking at my door,
“We are set to start fracking in here
and we’ll pay you even more.”

"Sign Here" said the Frack-man,”
We’re gonna Drill here when you leave.”
“You can cash-out & let us take your land,
But you may never speak!”

Welcome, everyone, to Gasland, California.

Natural gas wells on public land in the Jonah Field of western Wyoming.


[1]    A California Fracking Moratorium Post-Mortem
By RL Miller, SEPTEMBER 16, 2013

[2]    Californians uneasy about fracking's safety, lack of oversight
By Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times   June 07, 2013

[3]    California's Fracking Regulatory Bill: Less Than Zero
By Lauren Steiner,  Common Dreams, Wednesday, August 7, 2013

[4]    A fracking bill gone bad
By The LA Times editorial board, September 12, 2013

[5]    Fracking in California must not be regulated
By RL Miller, For Climate Hawks, Daily Kos Blog, Thursday July 11th, 2013 at 11:46 AM PDT

[6]    California's Fracked Up Oil: Nearly As Bad As Keystone XL?
By RL Miller, Climate Hawks, Daily Kos, Monday February 18th, 2013 at 09:20 AM

[7]    MapLight.org , Campaign Contributions

[8]    Governor Signs Troubled Fracking Bill
From Sierra Club California Director, Kathryn Phillips, For Immediate Release: September 20, 2013

[9]    Gangplank to a Warm Future
By Anthony R. Ingraffea, OP-ED Contributor, Published: July 28, 2013

[10]    Climate change: IPCC issues stark warning over global warming
By Robin McKie, science editor, The Observer, Saturday 21 September 2013 16:00 EDT

[11]    To fight climate change, we must trust scientific truth and collective action
By Will Hutton, The Observer, Saturday 21 September 2013 16:08 EDT

Originally posted to Damien Luzzo on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 11:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by California politics and Climate Change SOS.

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