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.
By Cody Petterson
We're still stunned, angry, and, frankly, disgusted that the franchise process is moving so quickly with no effort at, or opportunity for, public engagement.
A mere seven days elapsed from when the JVJ Pacific Consultings report and proposal was released to the public to when it was voted on by the Environment Committee, and another brisk three weeks from the Environment Committee to the full council. And this is all occurring in the midst of a global pandemic which already inhibits significant public participation.
A mere four weeks to debate how to give away our city's most valuable asset, an asset that provides San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) with a million dollars of profit per day, straight from the budgets of working families to the cash-choked pockets of SDG&E shareholders. It's insane.
Who is representing San Diegans? And if our representatives aren't representing San Diego's 1.4 million residents and ratepayers, who are they representing? Who's sitting at the table in the community's seat?
We now have a week to let the mayor, council, and those who have taken the community's seat at the table know we won't accept another "San Diego Special," i.e. four weeks of backroom deals and you're good to go.
Please call your councilmember today and ask them to send the franchise resolution back to Environment Committee for the public process it deserves. Ask them to take the proposed agreement back to the communities they represent. Ask them to give meaningful consideration to the formation of a city-owned public utility, which promises democratic oversight, greater control over our transition to 100 percent renewable energy, and significant savings for ratepayers.
And beyond asking, call your councilmember today and TELL them two specific things:
District 1: Barbara Bry
District 2: Jennifer Campbell
District 3: Chris Ward
District 4: Monica Montgomery
District 5: Mark Kersey
District 6: Chris Cate
District 7: Scott Sherman
District 8: Vivian Moreno
District 9: Georgette Gómez
Click here to examine the city's current 50-year franchise agreement with San Diego Gas and Electric, dated Dec. 17, 1970.
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