Area Environmentalists Chartering Buses for Trip North on March 15
March 2, 2014 (San Diego)--A large number of local environmental groups are joining forces for a big rally on March 15 in Sacramento to urge Governor Brown for a moratorium on fracking in California. Activists expect this event to be the largest mobilization against fracking ever seen.
Over 150 statewide environmental organizations will be represented at the rally, called "Californians Against Fracking," which is scheduled to include a march around the Capitol area and a rally with speakers on the capitol steps. With a new Public Policy Institute survey showing that 51 percent of Californians oppose the increased use of fracking in the state, organizers are expecting several thousand people to join the rally.
Locally, SanDiego350.org has chartered buses have for anyone interested in joining the rally. They are asking for a donation of $20 roundtrip per seat for the event. Local spokesperson Peg Mitchell, said the SanDiego350 charter bus will depart from two locations in San Diego County. Departure time is 1 am Saturday, March 15, from the Old Town Transit Center, with parking available in a large lot under the I-5 off Pacific Highway. The second pickup location is going to be at the La Costa I-5 Exit Park N Ride at 1:45 am. The rally in Sacramento is expected to last from 1 to 4 pm. The bus will return to San Diego shortly thereafter. Mitchell noted that people should bring their own food, drinks and "maybe a guitar or two." She added that a donor is providing lunch to participants upon arrival in Sacramento.
"The goal of this rally is to get folks out in large numbers from all across the state to show the state legislature and governor that this is indeed a big issue for Californians," she said. "It will be a long day on the buses but it will be for a great cause. Our sacrifice of a long bus ride pales in comparison to the suffering of homeowners, business owners and farmers living near fracking sites who are impacted 24/7."
Mitchell explained that as San Diegans living at the end of the water pipeline, it is even more critical that we participate in this rally to convince Governor Brown that water is a precious natural resource more necessary than fracked oil and gas. "This awful drought effects us all and we need to stop wasting that water on fracking," she said.
A growing number of community groups throughout the state are concerned about the lax and minimal regulations covering fracking, a technology of mining fossil fuels with high pressure water and chemicals, that is exempt from the federal Clean Air and Water Act. Just days ago a new bill was introduced in the State Legislature that calls for a moratorium on fracking until there can be a thorough review of economic, environmental and public health impacts. Senate Bill 1132 seeks to safeguard California’s water supply from overuse and contamination by fracking as our state struggles with a devastating drought.
Critics of fracking say near well sites there is contaminated water linked to cancer and birth defects and air pollution causing respiratory problems near well sites. They say public health risks are compounded by fracking’s unregulated expansion throughout California’s lands and coastal waters which the state has failed to monitor. Scientists say fracking will exacerbate our worsening drought and will severely contaminate millions of gallons of water that is desperately needed by communities and California farming.
SanDiego350.org is all-volunteer team dedicated to raising awareness, developing leaders, and advocating for climate change action. For more information see www.SanDiego350.org For more information on the March 15 rally, please visit http://dontfrackcalifornia.org/.