One generation goes and another generation comes, but the Earth remains forever" (Kohelet 1:4).
At a recent Friday Night Service, musical interludes filled the bimah while images of a drought stricken California filled my mind. It was during a quiet moment that we recited a prayer inviting G-d’s presence to suffuse our spirits. As if prayer written centuries ago could have predicted the emergent problems of Global Climate Change, the prayer evoked modern day images of parched fields and waterless landscapes. “Prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart, rebuild a weakened will,” but it cannot bring water. Here in California, we are experiencing the thirteenth worst drought our state has seen in five hundred years, yet current legislation provides limited regulations on Hydraulic Fracturing, the injection of toxic chemicals and millions of gallons of water into the Earth to dig up oil. Oil that 97% of scientists agree cannot be burned if we are to avoid further damage to our already compromised climate system.
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) issued their Resolution on Hydraulic Fracturing with an eye toward sustainability and protecting future generations. The URJ continues to focus on how to use energy wisely and sustainably, is committed to energy efficiency and conservation, while keeping with Jewish values. This is why they recognize that expanding growth in natural gas displaces research and investment in renewable energy and slows our transition to a clean energy economy.
The URJ Resolution provides guidelines for Hydraulic Fracturing that will no longer preclude the public from weighing in on the negative environmental and health impacts, or deters the current trend of exemptions written into federal law that exclude many elements of the fracturing process.
- To support investment in conservation and renewable energy sources.
- Urge further research on groundwater contamination, air pollution and additional environmental and health impacts.
- Significantly tighten exemptions from aspects of the natural gas extraction process from the Safe Drinking Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and other key environmental laws.
- Implement guidelines on the proximity of drilling wells to communities and sensitive ecological areas, disclose chemicals used, determine a safe procedure for disposing waste, and determine the impact of chemicals that remain in the ground.
- Determine whether moratoria or increased regulations will better support our environment and surrounding population.
- Urge Reform congregations to educate themselves.
- Revisit these issues as technology continues to develop.
G-d's will to prevail in our lives.
Prayer may not bring water to parched fields,
nor mend a broken bridge,
nor rebuild a ruined city.
But prayer can water an arid soul,
mend a broken heart,
rebuild a weakened will.
"California is home to one of the largest remaining deposits of oil in the country: the Monterey Shale. It has 13.7 billion barrels of oil locked underground and fossil fuel companies are spending millions trying to dig it up with hydraulic fracturing techniques. If they’re successful, this oil would be above and beyond what our best scientists say we already can’t afford to burn. Governor Brown’s latest actions make it clear he’s excited by the potential of the Monterey oil play and is paving the way for increased fracking across the state."h/t FractivistForce
~Oil Change International
The California Frack Wars: Episode 3 Revenge Of The Greed
Oil companies have been using dangerous technologies to extract oil from California with virtually no oversight. Left unchallenged, they plan to up the ante. Putting our air, water, people and wildlife at even more risk from pollution and climate change. ~Sierra Club
Viewpoints: Fracking during the drought is destructive and irresponsible
Adam Scow, California Campaign Director of Food and Water Watch.
Fracking is a triple threat to California’s water. Not only does it exacerbate the climate crisis, it requires mixing vast amounts of water with harmful chemicals, and it puts our vital aquifers at risk of contamination for generations. Last week, the green investment group Ceres released a report that found that 96 percent of fracking wells in California were drilled in regions under high or extremely high water stress.”See Dan Bacher's excellent article Not one drop of water for fracking in California! to illuminate the facts on water usage in fracking because the Western States Petroleum Association would never tell untruths about fracking.
After months of showing up to all of Governor Brown’s public events, lobbying legislators, delivering over 100,000 public comments, and even dropping a banner during the State of the State, it’s time to show up in force.
On March 15th, thousands of Californians are coming together in Sacramento to demand an end to fracking in our state. It’s time to stand up and tell our leaders: Don’t Frack California!
If you want to ride on the bus to Sacramento from San Jose/Palo Alto, bus tickets can be purchased here.
To sign up for the rally and look for a ride, click here.
We are closing in on 350 signatures and the California Democratic Party's State Convention is only 10 days away. Please help me spread the word by sharing this petition with your networks and groups.
~Damien Luzzo (FractivistForce) via Credo Mobil
DEAR ELECTED CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS: WE DEMAND A MORATORIUM ON FRACKING
TO: GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN, CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY DEMOCRATS, CALIFORNIA SENATE DEMOCRATS, DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR STATE ASSEMBLY OR SENATE SEATS
(1) We are demanding a moratorium on fracking right now. We are demanding that Governor Brown place an immediate moratorium on fracking or he will not receive our vote for any re-election campaign he may be considering.
Note: A variation of this diary was written for the "NOTES" newsletter sent to over 600 Congregation Families.
Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate. Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.