On April 25th the Bureau of Land Management has released their draft “environmental impact statement” which proposes opening up 1,011,470 acres of public land and federal mineral estate in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties to fossil fuel extraction.
This reckless move would end a more than five-year-old moratorium on leasing federal public lands to oil companies in California’s Central Valley and along the southern Central Coast – and would be a disaster for our health, environment, and atmosphere.
Fracking is an extreme oil-extraction process that blasts toxic chemicals mixed with water underground to crack rocks. The process has harmful impacts to groundwater basins, watersheds and surface waters and ultimately our oceans.
Instead of pushing for outdated and destructive ways to meet America’s energy needs, we should seek a comprehensive and environmentally sustainable plan that includes energy conservation and a massive restoration of our oceans and forests, the greatest carbon trapping systems we have.
Take Action Today!
The public comment period closed on June 10th, but you can still ask the Governor to tell BLM to withdraw its plan to sell off California’s public lands to oil companies today.
See sample comment letter below. Please personalize your letter. It will have more impact when you say why this issue matters to you.
Dear Governor Newsom,
I am writing to express my opposition to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s move to open California public land and mineral estate to fracking and oil drilling. In the name of our health, wildlife, oceans and climate, I urge you to prevent oil companies from threatening California lands with new leases, drilling and fracking for the following reasons:
- Fracking presents unacceptable risks to our health and safety. A 2015 report from the California Council on Science and Technology concluded that fracking in California happens at unusually shallow depths, dangerously close to underground drinking water supplies, with unusually high concentrations of toxic chemicals that are harmful to human health, oceans and the environment.
- Moreover, new drilling and fracking would do even further damage to air quality in Central California, particularly in the San Joaquin air basin, where communities of color and low-income communities are already harmed daily by toxic air pollution.
- To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we cannot afford to sell off any more public lands to oil companies. Like a household budget, the planet has a carbon budget and it is entirely spent. Now more than ever, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.
For these reasons, I urge you not to open federal lands for oil and gas drilling and fracking. Our health, wildlife, and climate cannot afford the grave threat of new fossil fuel development on California’s beautiful public lands.