Brown signs bill creating ‘environmental platform’ to expand fracking

by Dan Bacher
Monday Sep 23rd, 2013 10:45 AM
Source

Senator Fran Pavley and Governor Jerry Brown claim the legislation “regulates” hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), acidizing, and other oil extraction techniques, while opponents, including over 100 environmental, consumer and community groups in the coalition Californians Against Fracking, say the bill actually gives the green light to expanded fracking in California.

californians_against_frackingGovernor Jerry Brown on Friday, September 20 signed Senator Fran Pavley’s Senate Bill 4 – a controversial fracking bill that the head of the oil industry lobby admitted will clear the path to expanding the environmentally destructive oil extraction process in California.

“While SB 4’s requirements went significantly farther than the petroleum industry felt was necessary, we now have an environmental platform on which California can look toward the opportunity to responsibly develop the enormous potential energy resource contained in the Monterey Shale formation,” said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA).

Reheis-Boyd, who previously feigned disappointment with the bill even after it had been gutted with last minute pro-oil industry amendments, gushed, “With the signing of Senate Bill 4, California has the toughest regulations of hydraulic fracturing and other energy production technologies in the country.”

“There remains a great deal of work to clarify and implement the requirements of SB 4. WSPA and our members stand ready to work with the Administration, Department of Conservation and other stakeholders to ensure SB 4 is implemented effectively and fairly,” she concluded.

All mainstream media accounts of the Pavley legislation that I have seen failed to mention the alarming fact that Reheis-Boyd, in one of the biggest environmental scandals in California over the past decade, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create alleged “marine protected areas” on the Southern California coast. The oil industry superstar also served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

MontereyShaleSenator Fran Pavley and Governor Jerry Brown claim the legislation “regulates” hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), acidizing, and other oil extraction techniques, while opponents, including over 100 environmental, consumer and community groups in the coalition Californians Against Fracking, say the bill actually gives the green light to expanded fracking in California.

Strangely enough, Reheis-Boyd essentially agreed with the opponents’ assessment that the bill will actually result in expanded oil drilling in the Monterey Shale Foundation.

“SB 4 tragically green-lights an extremely dangerous practice with terrible public health impacts near the homes and schools of California’s communities already most overburdened by pollution,” said Madeline Stano, Luke Cole Memorial Fellow at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment.

Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid – typically water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to kill fish and cause cancer in humans– are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This releases extra oil and gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well, according to Food and Water Watch.

Senator Pavley lauded Brown for signing Senate Bill 4.

“I am pleased that Governor Brown is committed to rigorously implementing this important law,” Senator Pavley said. “I look forward to working with the governor and Natural Resources Secretary Laird to ensure that we meet the expectations of all Californians of transparency and rigorous oversight when the law kicks in on January 1, 2014.”

Pavley added, “Starting January 1, 2014, oil companies will not be allowed to frack or acidize in California unless they test the groundwater, notify neighbors and list each and every chemical on the Internet. This is a first step toward greater transparency, accountability and protection of the public and the environment. Now we need immediate, robust enforcement and widespread public involvement to ensure the law is upheld to its fullest.”

Likewise, Governor Brown in his signing statement claimed Senate Bill 4 “establishes strong environmental protections and transparency for hydraulic fracking and other well stimulation operations.”

“I am also directing the Department of Conservation, when implementing the bill, to develop and efficient permitting program for well stimulation activities that groups permits together based on factors such as known geological conditions and environmental impacts, while providing for more particularized review in other situations when necessary,” he stated.

Caleen-portraitCaleen Sisk, Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, said Brown’s signing of Pavley’s bill shows how “we are led by representatives who believe oil is more important than water for the people.”

“There is such a high price to pay for the last drops of oil – then what? Even this extreme mining for oil will come to an end!” Sisk noted.

The passage of Pavley’s green light for fracking bill occurs in the larger context of the oil industry’s enormous influence on California environmental processes. Pavley, Laird and Brown were all strong supporters of the oil lobbyist-overseen Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create questionable “marine protected areas” in Southern California, so it is no surprise that they will now be helping to implement the fracking of California – or as Reheis-Boyd claims, “responsibly” developing the “enormous potential energy resource contained in the Monterey Shale formation.”

These so-called “Yosemites of the Sea” and “underwater parks” fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling and spills, pollution, military testing, wind and wave energy projects and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering. The alleged “marine protected areas” are good for the oil industry and ocean industrialists – and bad for fishermen, tribal gatherers, the environment and the people of California.

State officials and representatives of corporate “environmental” NGOs embraced the leadership of Reheis-Boyd and other corporate operatives who served on the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces to create “marine protected areas” that fail to actually protect the ocean. By backing her leadership as a “marine guardian,” they helped to increase the influence of the Western States Petroleum Association, the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento.

Two of the groups who were among the strongest supporters of the MLPA Initiative – NRDC and the League of Conservation Voters – also strongly backed Pavley’s green light to fracking bill until the very last minute when amendments they suggested weren’t included in the bill’s final draft. They, along with Clean Water Action and the Environmental Working Group, withdrew their support on September 11 after the oil industry gutted the already very weak bill.

FrackingMapGlobalExNow Pavley, Brown and Laird, true to form, will preside over expanded fracking in Cailifornia that will result in tremendous damage to groundwater supplies, rivers and imperiled fish populations, and human health.

Pavley, Brown and Laird also support the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the twin tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The construction of the tunnels will result in the export of massive quantities of northern California water to corporate agribusiness interests irrigating drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

The construction of the tunnels would hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon and steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations of the Trinity and Klamath river.

For more information about the hijacking of “marine protection” in California by the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), go to: http://yubanet.com/california/Dan-Bacher-Top-Censored-Environmental-Story-of-2012-Marine-guardian-lobbies-for-offshore-oil-drilling-fracking.php

Background: Big Oil dominates California politics

The oil industry, now the most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento, exceeds corporate agribusiness, the computer and software industry, the film and television industry, the aerospace industry and other major corporate players in California politics in the power that it wields.

The association now has enormous influence over both state and federal regulators.Oil and gas companies spend more than $100 million a year to buy access to lawmakers in Washington and Sacramento, according to Stop Fooling California, an online and social media public education and awareness campaign that highlights oil companies’ efforts to mislead and confuse Californians. The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) alone has spent more than $16 million lobbying in Sacramento since 2009. (http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/07/the-ocean-frackers/)

The association spent the most of any organization in first six months of 2013, $2,308,789.95, to lobby legislators and other state officials, according to documents filed with the California Secretary of State.

When the oil industry wields this much power – and an oil industry lobbyist oversaw the process that was supposed to “protect” the ocean – it shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that California’s ocean waters, as well as farmland, are now being “fracked.” Both the state and federal regulators have completely failed in their duty to protect our ocean, bays, rivers and Delta.

For more information about the MLPA Initiative, go to: http://intercontinentalcry.org/the-five-inconvenient-truths-about-the-mlpa-initiative/

Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

Published on Monday, July 1, 2013 by Common Dreams

[Note: Join the protest on July 4th in SF 11:00 am at UN Plaza, against surveillance, see: http://www.restorethefourth.net/]

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013

Tuesday: Demonstration Against Post Office Closings and Sales (SF)

Assemble at the SF Office of Richard Blum!

December 4, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
909 Montgomery St, betw. Broadway & Pacific
Map: http://tinyurl.com/d354m86
# 10, 12, 4, 30x, 82x buses

Rally, then March to Dianne Feinstein’s office
1 Post St. (corner of Market & Montgomery)

Protest the closing of US Post Offices, especially the Berkeley Main Post Office. Richard Blum, Diane Feinstein’s husband, stands to profit mightily from the sale of the Berkeley Post Office.

Up for sale is the historic Berkeley main post office. Billionaire real estate mogul Blum is chairman of CBRE, the largest commercial real estate company in the world, which has the exclusive contract to sell off some 70 post offices in the US. Blum is also a regent of UC, where he’s been working to privatize the University just as he’s involved in privatizing the Postal Service.

See article “A victory for mass action to save the People’s P.O.” at http://tinyurl.com/d7tlex9

img_5279.jpg See also:
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Who Owns OUR (Downtown Berkeley) Post Office? (News Analysis)
By Gray Brechin
Monday July 16, 2012 – 12:30:00 PM
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Tonight! Last Third Party Debate, 5 pm PST

The last Third Party debate will be held Monday Nov 5th, 2o12 from 9:00 PM to 10:30 PM EST (6:00 PM PST) at RT America Studios in Washington, DC, broadcast live worldwide. Political correspondent coverage will occur from 8:00 to 9:00 pm (5:00 PM PST). The debate will be hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation and will feature Libertarian Party candidate  Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, a line-up decided by voters last week after the first debate between Johnson, Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate  Rocky Anderson.

Confirmed political correspondents include:

  • Thom Hartmann – NY Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, political commentator, and host of The Big Picture
  • Sam Seder – comedian, writer, actor, director, producer and talk radio host
  • Amber Lyon – Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist and whistleblower
  • Maytha Alhassan – journalist, writer, editor and University of Southern California Provost Ph.D. Fellow in American Studies and Ethnicity
  • Matt Welch – editor in chief of Reason magazine

Additional correspondents and moderator will be announced shortly.

Several American media outlets will stream the debate live including Free and Equal, Free Speech TV, Stitcher, Orion Radio Network,Yes Magazine, NextNewsNetwork, RT America’s YouTube channel, American Free Press, as well as UK-based Reciva Internet Radio. RT America will open its studio and offer a live, neutral feed via satellite to interested media.

International media will cover the debate in countries including Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, China, Spain and the UK.

In the US, RT is available on Dish Networks, channel 280, and on cable in the metro areas of Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego as well as in North and South Carolina, and Philadelphia. For more information go to http://rt.com/usa/where-to-watch/.

About Free and Equal

Free & Equal Elections Foundation is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) public policy advocacy organization dedicated to reforming the electoral system throughout the United States.

For the 2012 debate season, Free & Equal has assembled a diverse group of ballot-qualified candidates, political parties, media, businesses, musicians, radio personalities, organizations, and individuals across the political spectrum to support an open, honest, unscripted, multi-partisan debate for American voters and the international community.

http://www.freeandequal.org

Jill Stein, Cheri Honkala arrested at tonight’s debate!

(HEMPSTEAD, NY) – Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the Green presidential and vice-presidential nominees, were just now forcibly prevented from entering the grounds of tonight’s presidential debate organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).

Watch the video here.

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala will appear on 85% of ballots on Election Day, and recently polled 2-3% in four consecutive national polls. The Federal government recognizes Jill Stein as a qualified presidential candidate, having approved her campaign for federal matching funds. Yet the two women were arrested by local police when they tried to enter the grounds of Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York, where the debate is scheduled to take place. They are currently still in police custody.

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala walked with supporters toward the Hofstra campus at 2:00pm EST today. There they were met by three ranks of police officers in uniform and plainclothes. At this point, the Green Party candidates held an impromptu press conference in which Dr. Stein called the CPD debate a “mockumentary,” saying that, “We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy.”

continued here.

Alameda County Green Party Candidates for November 2012

Below is a list of Green Party candidates running in the November 2012 election within Alameda County.  We are now adding a “Candidates” page and will update it as more information comes in.  A full list of Green Party candidates in the State of California is here.

ALBANY

Byron Barrett

http://o4.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/PATCH/resize/600x450/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/patch/908986e1b956ed5ff49ec85f0dd9a66dBoard of Education
Albany Unified School District
(3 candidates for 2 seats)

See:
Albany Patch Profile
City of Albany Candidates

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Sheri Spellwoman

http://o2.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/PATCH/resize/273x203/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/patch/78e506790b8aa315a2fc76f2f040a526City Council, Albany
(7 candidates for 3 seats)

See:
Website : SpellwomanForAlbany.org
Facebook : Spellwoman For Albany
Albany Patch Profile
City of Albany Candidates

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BERKELEY

Khalil Jacobs Fantuzzi

Mayor, Berkeley
(6 candidates for 1 seat)

See:

City of Berkeley Candidate Information
UC Berkeley alum, social activist runs for mayor
Friday, August 10, 2012
VIDEO:
2008 Berkeley Mayoral Debate: Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi

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Phoebe Ann Sorgen

http://www.phoebesorgen.net/gfx/phoebe3.jpgCity Council, Berkeley, District 6
(1 candidate for 1 seat, write-in Phoebe)

See: PhoebeSorgen.net
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/phoebe.sorgen
LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/phoebe-anne-sorgen/4/800/357
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OAKLAND

Don MacLeay

http://www.hnu.edu/mayoralForum/images/don_macLeay.jpgCity Council, Oakland, District 1
(7 candidates for 1 seat)

See:
Oakland Greens: Don MacLeay
VIDEO:
Don Macleay (Oakland Green Party) Talks District One Race

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Theresa Anderson

http://acgreens.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/thresaanderson.jpg?w=231&h=181City Council, Oakland, at-large
(5 candidates for 1 seat)

See:
Meet the Oakland Greens: Theresa Anderson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/msdandell
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MSDANDELL

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Randy Menjivar

Peralta Community College, Area 2 (East Oakland)

See:
Oakland Greens: Vote Menjivar
SmartVoter: Randy Menjivar
VIDEO: Rany Menjivar Candidate Statement
VIDEO: M1 of Dead Prez with Randy Reynaldo Menjivar
Twitter: OakRandy2012
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randyreynaldo.menjivar

Julian Assange emerges: US war on whistleblowers must end

Watch the video HERE!

http://rt.com/files/news/assange-wikileaks-public-statement-ecuador-embassy-london-057/wikileaks-founder-julian-addresses.jpg

http://rt.com/files/news/assange-wikileaks-public-statement-ecuador-embassy-london-057/harris.jpg

For background on events leading up to the press conference, see:

Hague ignored lawyers to send Assange ‘threat’ note

Now Britain wants to talk, as Ecuador faces the consequences of sheltering Wikileaks founder
By Brian Brady, David Randall, The Independent, Sunday 19 August 2012
The calamitous Foreign Office note to Ecuador – interpreted there and elsewhere as a threat to raid the country’s London embassy where the Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, is holed up – was sanctioned by William Hague, despite the grave reservations of lawyers in his department.

Richmond Progressives Speak Out Against Chevron

A few images, links and excerpts of progressives speaking out against Chevron’s role in the explosions and fire on Monday.  The fire released sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrogen oxide, sulfuric acid and nitrogen dioxide into the air and over 900 people sought medical treatment. (SJMercurynews).

mayorgayle_chevronprotest2012.jpg mayorgayle_chevronprotest photo by Steve Rhodes
Mayor Gayle McLaughlin spoke to protesters before the Chevron “Town Hall” meeting.

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/481895_3653932839144_611886412_n.jpg

Photo by Richmond Spokes

Angry residents crowd meeting over Richmond refinery fire
LA Times, August 7, 2012 | 9:31 pm

“The meeting’s question-and-answer session immediately turned into a verbal brawl, which didn’t stop until the meeting ended at 8:30 p.m. and what was left of the crowd surrounded the stage. Police officers stood by as audience members pressed officials for more answers. . . .

During protests before the meeting, members of a group called Urban Tilth, which runs 11 community gardens here, tossed armloads of their fresh-grown produce into trash cans, ruing that there is no way to know how badly the refinery fire “poisoned it.”

“That toxic plume went over every one of our gardens,” said Doria Robinson, Urban Tilth executive director. “We might have to pull out all of the food we’ve been growing because of what happened yesterday.” Inside the auditorium, dozens of the group’s members and supporters brought the meeting to a brief standstill.”

For more information about Urban Tilth please go to: http://www.urbantilth.org

soto_mclaughlin_chevron_dn.jpg

Democracy Now: Chevron Oil Refinery Fire in Richmond, California Forces Over 900 Residents to Hospitals

Guests:
Green Party Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and
Richmond organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, Andres Soto.

Richmond Progressive Alliance Statement on the Chevron Fire

‎”Should we have Councilmembers like Nat Bates who take campaign money and assistance from Chevron and its political front groups in charge of protecting us in this vital area? Candidates Eduardo Martinez and Marilyn Langlois take no contributions from Chevron or any other corporation. They are loyal only to Richmond.”

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/313251_10151109733086665_662316672_n.jpg

Why we protest Chevron
http://bayareadirectaction.wordpress.com/

“Chevron was also instrumental in preparing the illegal aggression and occupation of Iraq. Part of the infamous “Cheney Energy Task Force” that met just days after George W. Bush was inaugurated, the Task Force worked with the National Security Council to merge “operational policies toward rogue states” with “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.” Since the invasion Chevron has pushed heavily for production contracts and production sharing agreements through the failed Iraq Oil Law. Now western oil companies’ best hope to directly extract Iraqi oil is the second round of extraction and production negotiations set for November. All the while Chevron maintains its marketing agreements with Iraq, refining millions of barrels of Iraqi oil at its Richmond refinery, profiting from the US war and occupation.”

See also: http://richmondconfidential.org/tag/chevron/

Running mate revealed: Green Party running mate, that is

US Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein(L) embraces Cheri Honkala after announcing her as the Green Party vice-presidential choice during a press conference July 11, 2012, in Washington, DC. The Green Party will hold their national convention July 12-15, 2012, in Baltimore, Maryland.

(Credit: AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards )

(CBS News) On the day before the Green Party’s presidential nominating convention, presidential candidate Jill Stein revealed her running mate to CBS News exclusively: homeless activist Cheri Honkala.

“She leads one of the country’s largest multiracial, intergenerational movements led by people in poverty, fighting poverty, homelessness and foreclosures,” Stein told CBS news. Honkala, a mother of two, and the national coordinator for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, spent some of her days homeless. She ran for sheriff of Philadelphia on the Green Party line in 2011 and based her campaign on a platform of halting evictions.

Stein, who defeated comedian Roseanne Barr for the Green Party’s nod, will be officially nominated at the party’s national convention in Baltimore, which begins Thursday. Stein, a physician, is from Massachusetts and has launched two unsuccessful bids for governor there, including against Mitt Romney in 2002.

CONTINUED at CBS News here