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AB 345 will fight CA oil industry’s environmental racism

by Jane Fonda and Don Martin, The Sacramento Bee


Highlights

  • Politicians that allow pollution in our state’s most vulnerable neighborhoods, which are disproportionately communities of color, are signaling that this environmental racism is not a concern and that people of color are “disposable”
  • Over 215,000 people in Los Angeles live within 2,500 feet of an active oil and gas well
  • Exposure to gases and chemicals from the fossil fuel industry are causing massive health issues, such as asthma and cancer
  • A Stanford study found that pregnant women living near oil and gas wells in California face a high risk of preterm birth, with Black and Latinx women facing the highest risks
  • People exposed to large amounts of pollution are more likely to have severe and lethal effects of COVID-19
  • AB 345 will establish a state law that requires oil and gas drilling sites to be 2,500 feet away from homes, schools, and hospitals
  • However, the LA County Department of Regional Planning recently released plans for a 500-foot buffer zone from new drilling sites which is not an adequate distance 
  • Passing AB 345 will let Californians know that our elected representatives care about communities of color and are working toward ending environmental racism 

Take action to support AB 345. Increased air pollution from fossil fuel emissions makes all of us more vulnerable to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.


Read More: https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article244232417.html

Black Lives Matter protest in Oakland. Photo by Daniel Arauz

Climate Justice is Racial Justice

The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others at the hands of police, are abhorrent and intolerable. Institutional racism, intentionally interwoven into the American fabric since long before our nation’s founding, has locked in major inequalities for people of color in wealth, income, education, health, jobs, housing, and public safety.

Black, Brown, and Indigenous people are more likely to be killed by police than white people, with virtually no officers charged, let alone convicted.

Toxic oil and gas infrastructure – from freeways to oil rigs–are often sited in communities of color, dangerously close to homes, schools, and hospitals due to historic redlining and redevelopment. Constantly in the pall of polluted air, they suffer from significantly lower life expectancy and higher rates of asthma, cancer, and other diseases than white people and those in wealthier neighborhoods.

And these same communities of color are being hit much harder by the dual pandemics of COVID19 and climate.

There cannot be climate justice without racial justice.

Shared responsibility and equitable, inclusive solutions are fundamental values we at The Climate Center strive to realize in our efforts to achieve speed and scale greenhouse gas reductions. We stand in solidarity with communities of color. We stand in solidarity with the protesters in the streets.

The climate movement cannot remain silent any longer. To achieve our urgent climate policy goals, we must close the climate gap to ensure communities of color are no longer disproportionately harmed. We must end police violence, white supremacy, and the environmental injustices that many Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous communities experience daily.

Take action today. Learn about systemic racism, talk about it, speak out against it, practice anti-racism, and demand racial justice. Together we can ensure a just transition to a clean, green, and equitable future.

Following are a handful of the many resources available online: Systemic Racism Explained (short video), 5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today, Activism & Allyship Guide, 15 Things Your City Can Do Right Now to End Police Brutality, Anti-Racism Resources for White People, and 8 Ways Environmental Organizations Can Support the Movement for Environmental Justice.

Lessons for climate-friendly behavior change – from Marketing 101

by Nathanael Johnson, Grist

You probably would’ve never heard of the fuzzy little fruit known as the kiwi if it hadn’t had a Norma Jean Mortenson moment and changed its name from “Chinese gooseberry.” Same with avocado, which achieved superstardom after dropping the name “alligator pear.” Can you imagine millennials emptying their bank accounts to buy alligator-pear toast?

Marketing works. But you wouldn’t know it from the strategy employed by environmentalists trying to get people to eat less meat. That strategy: Spread the message that a lot more people could eat with a lot less land if we simply cut back our meat-eating habit. And if it doesn’t stick? Beat people repeatedly over the head with the same message.

It’s a failed effort by any measure. A measly 5 percent of Americans call themselves vegetarians, and more than 80 percent of vegetarians eventually return to the way of the flesh. Americans ate a record amount of meat last year — some 72 billion pounds (though on the bright side, we are shifting to less environmentally harmful meats).

Read more: https://grist.org/article/from-alligator-pear-to-avocado-a-plant-based-diet-meets-marketing-101/

Photo by My Fit Station: https://myfitstation.com/

This developer just won a fight to make California a massive coal exporter

by Jackie Flynn Mogensen, Mother Jones

A federal judge ruled Tuesday to overturn a ban on coal shipping through Oakland, California—which could pave the way for the city’s port to become one of the largest coal-export facilities in the country.
Judge Vince Chhabria determined Oakland’s coal-shipping ban, instituted in 2016, violates a contractual agreement between the city and developer Phil Tagami, who filed the suit against the city and was working to move millions of tons of coal from Utah, through Oakland, and off to Asia every year.

Chhabria said the Oakland City Council didn’t have enough evidence when it put the ban in place to validate its rationale for the measure—that coal shipping would pose a significant danger to residents—and in his decision, he wrote that the city’s records are “riddled with inaccuracies, major evidentiary gaps, erroneous assumptions, and faulty analyses.”

The port handles about 2.5 million shipping containers per year, holding all kinds of commercial goods, including food and clothing. In 2012, Tagami won a contract to build a multi-commodity shipping facility, Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal LCC (OBOT), on the former Oakland Army Base. At the time, he assured the city he had no interest in shipping coal. Then in 2015, his company sought a $53 million deal with coal-mining counties in Utah which would raise US coal exports by an estimated 19 percent, according to the Sierra Club.

As Mother Jones previously reported, the 2015 deal was met with immediate opposition:

A wave of anti-coal protests followed OBOT’s deal, and the next year the city passed an ordinance banning the storage and handling of coal, citing “substantially dangerous” health conditions caused by coal dust. City neighborhoods, including West Oakland, already “bear the brunt of health-related impacts” caused by industry, the ordinance says, and see disproportionately higher rates of asthma, premature births, and cardiovascular disease.

In response, Tagami sued—but his victory this week is somewhat complicated. Tuesday’s decision overturns the coal-shipping ban, but the city is still free “to pursue future regulation of the project so long as it complies with its legal obligations, including any legitimate contractual obligations to the project developers,” writes Chhabria. The city has not yet announced if it has plans to appeal the decision.

“Oaklanders understand that a coal export terminal will have horrific impacts on the health and safety, indeed the very lives, of West Oakland residents, particularly children, who are disproportionately African American and other people of color,” Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker told Mother Jones in an email in January.

source: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/05/this-developer-just-won-a-fight-to-make-california-a-massive-coal-exporter/