By Cody Petterson
The California legislature has sat on AB-345 (fracking setbacks) long enough. Are we seriously still arguing about whether to physically separate oil and gas production from child-raising activities? Is that what we’re doing? Does anyone think if it were white kids living, playing, going to school next to oil wells, refineries, etc., we wouldn't have sorted it out on day one?
If it were affluent white families like mine who were suffering from elevated rates of birth defects, preterm births, fetal deaths, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease – all associated with residential proximity to oil and gas development – do you believe we wouldn't have imposed draconian setbacks long ago? Come on now.
Pass AB 345 already. Establish "a minimum setback distance between oil and gas activities and sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics based on health, scientific, and other data." How is this even a debate?
Thank you to San Diego's Democratic assemblymembers for voting AB 345 off the floor of the Assembly. Thank you Assemblymembers Tasha Boerner Horvath (AD-76), Brian Maienschein (AD-77), Todd Gloria (AD-78), Shirley Weber (AD-79), Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (AD-80).
Finally, I ask Senator Ben Hueso (SD-40) to vote the bill out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water today and bring a measure of environmental justice to California's disproportionately burdened communities of color. If you live in California's 40th Senate District, I encourage you to call Senator Hueso's Sacramento office at (916) 651-4040 and ask him to do the same.
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