Fractivists converged upon Governor Brown's State of the State Address 2014 this morning organized by the Coalition of Californians Against Fracking including groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity, Credo Action, 350 Bay Area, Food & Water Watch, and Oil Change International, to make it known they have been watching how the oil and gas industry's win of the Cheney loophole in 2005 to skirt federal clean water laws and subsequent fracking has been contaminating water wells and supplies around the nation; and that they don't want it in California.
Fractivists traveled in from around the state as far as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Marin; and from out of the state- from as far as Colorado, and Pennsylvannia, with even some advice from New York; where yet as of last week over 2000 protested Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Address despite the two year moratorium he worked with them to place.
Even more fractivists from around the nation supported the protest in days preceding with hashtags such as #fracking #unfrackcal @jerrybrowngov ranging from 'Climate leaders don't frack,' to 'sez Cali's severe drought is emergency. BUT doesn't order immediate STOP to #fracking!' -to 'declares drought emergency in #CA |LA Times < #fracking uses 4 to 6 mil gallons of #water Jerry per well!'
A landowner from Placer County shouted out "Well, we're on water wells in the foothills, and we don't want to have happen to our property values what has been happening around the nation," he said carrying a sign, wearing his cowboy hat, and sporting a no fracking sticker along with his wife carrying her own. "How do you fix a broken aquifer?"- questioned a former state water regulator who preferred not to be named.
Roofless clean energy solutions are following fracking bans and moratoriums
Locals from Davis and Sacramento questioned the wisdom of not having developed more distributed generation solar and wind in the state including lower cost loans with better terms to cover up-front costs and innovative models such as solar gardens and virtual solar. Virtual Solar legislation was passed recently however with SB43. The passage of this legislation will allow Californians to subscribe to sources of energy provided by renewable energy similar to the telecommunications industry given limitless choices of providers. The legislation will also allow those currently paying gas and electric bills to subscribe to clean energy providers without even a roof for solar panels or property for wind turbines.
But from even farther away, were landowners from Colorado, and Dimock, Pennsylvania; who had met with key State of California decision makers at the Capitol the day before. Fractivist Shane Davis was one of this coalition and had traveled in from Colorado, where the cities of Fort Collins, Lafayette, and Longmont recently enacting voter-approved fracking bans. Davis told Examiner he believes that the movement against fracking has effectively democratized the energy industry towards new forms of cleaner energies and in fact a boom.
Even more recently, a proposed amendment to Colorado's constitution was enacted that would give municipalities the power to ban or restrict fracking and other industrial activities, and would be the first of its kind nationwide if it passes. This would have immediate ramifications in Colorado, where the state's oil and gas association is suing in protest.
Davis went on record saying, "The Governor has the opportunity of a lifetime to not only be a hero for the environment, but for California and the nation to not not allow fracking in California. "I'm absolutely amazed that California is using its most valuable resource, 'water' to mine for something far less valuable, 'a fossil fuel.' "
All rivers are connected to each other
Davis furthered, "All rivers are connected to each other. Forty percent of Colorado's ground water is contaminated - why would California want water from the Colorado River to drink?"
Others at the protest had made signs regarding how earthquakes could be triggered especially given California's seismically active tectonic geology. Pennsylvania, Texas, and New York have eerily witnessed such quakes and the USGS has confirmed that an increase in pore pressure in subsurface waters can indeed lubricate even ancient thought to be inactive fault traces.
Fracking is generational suicide
Pennsylvania's Craig Stevens, 6th generation land owner was also a member of the coalition from out of state. He asserted, "I am a constitutional conservative who has been in the middle of the energy extraction technology for over 4 years and I have determined after that time that this is generational suicide. Fracking for oil & gas cannot co-exist with humans, animals, and plants. The sooner we can move to renewable energies, the sooner our children can thrive."
Stevens recently addressed the United Nations on fracking, commented further,"We have partnered with the likes of Robert Kennedy Jr, Arun Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi's grandson), Mark Ruffalo, Yoko and Sean Ono, and other world-wide peace activists, and our conclusion is this is a civil and humanitarian issue."
The most colorful of the three was Ray Kemball written about in the Rolling Stone, and even more recently, the National Geographic. "The land man came in 2006 like a professional B S wild west snake oil salesman." After 6 months of fighting with his partner whether they should take the deal, eventually Kemball signed to keep peace in the household. " We didn't even sleep together, so finally, I signed."
What Kemball's partner was sure would be royalty checks arriving worth 10's of thousands of dollars from an initial payment of $5.00 per acre for their 6 acres and then a promise of 12% of the well wound up being a single check of $5100.00 for the duration of having put up with all the drilling traffic and noise and flaring for one year and seven months. His land value "is now zero" he sighed. It also tests out for containing radioactive uranium, radon, thorium, and arsenic- all chemicals reported to have been found in various fracking cocktail mixes throughout the nation and the world given the growing list of moratoriums and bans within at least over 15 countries at various levels of governance.
Worse yet, Kemball suffers with psychosis of the lungs, and inexplicable rashes up and down his legs."Act 13 is a doctor gag order law we are trying to overturn in Pennsylvania, it dictates that a medical doctor can not disclose to a patient that his or her symptoms are consistent with that which might have arisen from any practice related to the oil & gas industry."
Perhaps most dramatic were Kemball's Terminator like adventures with two oil & gas industry men entering his home one morning through the front door at 7 AM completely unannounced. One thing led to another and the story goes to a 45, an AR 15, and an AK 47. But that's another article, and another documentary along with now Gasland I and II, Triple Divide, Promised Land and Split Estate.
Mark Ruffalo, "Not one well."
Mark Ruffalo actually took time out of his busy schedule too, to prime some of the activists having head out to today's actions. Ruffalo does some of the narration in the new documentary Triple Divide. "Not one well," Ruffalo declared- "that is how we have dealt with Governor Cuomo in New York."