Transcript: Oil and Gas Extraction in California – The Frontline of Climate Justice (CA Climate Policy Summit 2023)

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Woody Little (00:02):

So, uh, yeah, I got it. Take it away.

Nalleli Cobo (00:05):

Um, hello. No working. Hi. No

Woody Little (00:09):

Here. Is this working? Hello. Hello. That’s

Nalleli Cobo (00:12):

Alright. Organizer, voice organizer.

Woody Little (00:14):


Nalleli Cobo (00:15):

<laugh>. I’ll stand up too. Um, hi everyone. My name is nightly. As mentioned, I have been doing this work for the past 13 years. Just funny to say. Um, I really began because I wanted to play outside like a normal kid. I wanted to not use my inhaler three times a day. I wanted to be a kid. So, yeah. What do you do when your community is under attack? You stand up and you fight back. And that’s exactly what we did as a community. We turned ourselves from victims into advocates and activists and started demanding our basic human right of breathing clean air in our homes. I remember the first time I opened the window in my home. Remember the first time we got the call that the oil while my community was closing. And I immediate, I, first of all, I didn’t know what to do and I asked my mom for permission to scream.


I had so much energy in me and I was screaming and I ran the window and I opened it. And that’s something so simple, but something we weren’t allowed to do for years. More toxic emissions. The smell would sick. That was the reality. There was no opening your window for a fr breath of fresh air in our homes. And I got to do that in November and 2013, I got to open the windows in my own home without fear of letting in more toxic emissions. I closed it after 10 seconds cuz I am from California and it was 60 degrees, which is too cold for me, <laugh>. But it was the fact that now I could do that. It was the fact that when I fight, when I think of a more just sustainable future, I think about kids only learning about urban oil extraction when they read a history book.


I dream more kids look outside of their windows and they see trees and not an oil, well, not an oil oil refinery. I dream of a world where if you like <inaudible>, those keep me fighting. Those things push me to be a voice for my community. I believe storytelling is a very compelling form of activism that oftentimes goes unnoticed. And I’m trying to bring it back. I’m trying to share the story of my community. We were viewed as invisible, as disposable. And we said we are anything but that. My community created historical change because we said enough is enough. So I invite you all to also say, enough is enough. And apply pressure to our governor to say no to fossil fuels, to switch to clean renewable energy for our health, our safety and our environment. We have no other planet to go to. This is it. And we need to do our part to create a sustainable world for us, for our children, for our grandchildren. So your grandchildren can be kids and they don’t have to become an activist at the age of nine. Thank you.

Woody Little (02:42):

To remind yourself, you code card or whatever, right? Whatever. We’re gonna have time for questions at the end, so I just wanna remind you to think about questions you might have. Um, next up I wanna introduce Kobi Naseck. I’ve said it wrong for long. Naseck, um, who serves as the coalition coordinator for vision of ion, uh, voices in solidarity and oil and neighborhoods. Uh, really powerful coalition, environmental justice, frontline and public health organizations that are dedicated to ending oil and gas extraction in neighborhoods. Um, and really the leading coalition in the years long fight for buffer zones, uh, to protect schools, homes, um, hospitals, prisons, um, from oil and gas extraction. So, Kobe take you away and I told the bikes are working now. Oh, great.

Kobi Naseck (03:18):

Hello, hello, hello. Maybe not quite not yet, organizer. I think we’ll

Woody Little (03:23):


Kobi Naseck (03:24):

If you’d like. Uh, I think maybe we’ll be okay, but if I start to just lemme know. Um, hello everyone. My name is Kobe. I am here to represent vision or [inaudible], which is voices in solidarity agains oil in neighborhoods. Um, we are the coalition of frontline environmental justice, um, and health and safety organizations. And I’m talking about community led organizations, representing communities like Nalleli’s, um, who decided enough was enough and started pushing for policy to get those oil and gas infrastructures out of our communities. And I wanna begin by saying that sort law, which was a law for health and safety buffer zones. And even three years ago, that was ridiculous. Um, we were, you know, told that’s far in the future. We’re not ready for that yet. We’re not there yet. Um, and so I want to just begin my remarks today by saying the wisdom and the path forward is in our communities.


It’s in families like, like Nalleli’s who, who know what their community needs and who decided that enough is enough. And so alongside us, um, and many of you who actually said, no, we, we are ready for this fight. Um, and the fight isn’t over. So, um, in order to get oil and gas out of our neighborhoods in California, we knew there was one solution. And it’s called a health and safety buffer zone. So I’m talking about a minimum distance between where oil and gas extractors can come in and pollute. And our homes, our schools, like Woody said, a long list of sensitive places that we live. We work, we pray, we go to school, we learn we don’t want oil and gas, oil and gas, and the, the toxics they bring anywhere near us. Um, and the fight for setbacks or health and safety public zones in, uh, protection zones in California started in 2018 in a small community in Kern County called Arvin.


Yeah, let’s get some, let’s get some new support for that. Um, the community for the Committee for a Better Arvin decided that they were gonna ask the city for 500 foot setback. Five feet [inaudible] Okay. Where there are almost as many oil and gas wells as there are homes in the, you know, greater Arvin area, wall to wall. We’re talking about communities where when Dylan starts up people’s pictures of their families fall off the wall because they are that close and there’s so many big trucks going through their, their neighborhoods. This is still the reality for many Californians. Like Woody said, 7 million Californians live within a mile of an active of oil and gas extraction site. Um, the number is still too high. It’s over two and a half million people, um, at the one kilometer mark. So we started in 2018 with an ask for 500 foot setbacks. You know, over the course of a couple years and many legislative attempts we, um, cast winning more. Um, which is one of the beautiful things about this site that I want to invite everyone to, to join in on. We’ve gone from a 500 foot setback on new extraction to a 3,200 foot one kilometer health and safety buffer zone that applies to new and has some application to existing extraction as well, which is a huge deal. Yeah, let’s get some applause for that. Yeah,


And again, this is the win that, that started in the community that started from the bottom up push to, to win protections. Um, and this past fall, thankfully with a broad support from grassroots organizations, from many of your organizations that are more well resourced and have been around for decades and decades and decades, um, and also from politicians like Senator Gonzalez who represent our communities and know that the buck stops with them and that they’re not gonna give up fighting for us. We won that law. Um, and now I’m gonna talk a little bit more about what Woody alluded to, which is where’s right now for health and safety buffer zones and how come California is still drilling near our homes. Uh, so after we won this groundbreaking law, which is called 1137 button Random on the war, um, and they used a number of tactics to, um, dissuade, um, uh, sorry, not to swipe to, uh, persuade and misinformed voters, um, to sign on to the referendum, even going so far to say sign here to end neighborhood drilling.


End of the story is they got it on the ballot. And so now we’re facing a huge fight in 2024 where the entire state will decide whether or not they’re going to keep this historic law Senator Gonzalez help pass, uh, 1137. So we’re up against a lot. We’re up against the big money machine, we’re up against the big oil machine. Um, but we know that even, even being told just three years ago that this wasn’t gonna happen, that’s a pipe dream, that it’s still winnable and we know we’re gonna win. Uh, I wanted to share that. Um, one of the, one of the biggest challenges we face is, uh, fighting big oil myths. And so a key part of our work that I think we can also fight the big oil myth. Um, we’re gonna be ramping up all of our work to make sure that we can meet the challenge at the ballot.


Um, in 2024, we can get people registered to vote and make sure that when they go to vote, they’re voting for our, um, policy. And we’re gonna keep working in the meantime to defeat the big oil myths. And it really starts, um, with a concentrate effort by all of our organizations to do just that. We’re gonna fight the myth that oil and gas extraction is responsible for millions of jobs in California. We’re gonna fight the myth that if we don’t extract oil and gas here and put our communities at risk, that is going to lead to deforestation in the Amazon and oil and gas drilling in the Amazon. We’re gonna keep working hard to fight these myths, um, and build up our communities that we’re ready for the fight in 2024. And I think my timers, I’m almost at time here, so, um, I’ll end by saying, um, yeah, even though the fight isn’t over yet, we do have this, this big pape victory.


And Woody kind of alluded at it in the opening remark, yet this 24 ins policy is really, um, going to determine the big will playbook for the next couple years. If they win in 2024, then they know they can buy their way out of any policy in most states through the referendum process, they can push their $20 million to $30 million button and they can escape regulation around the nation. Um, and so it’s really crucial that we all stand with the, and say it ends here. It’s going to end at the ballot in 2024, and we’re not gonna let them continue to use this play. Um, and actually it’s going to be the beginning of the end of all oil and gas extraction in neighborhoods from California to Katz Alley in Louisiana. It’s going to be the end beginning in 2024.

Woody Little (09:14):

Thank you.


Thank you so much, Kobe. And we now have Senator Lena Gonzalez here. So wanna welcome up to the podium, or at least to the table. We’ve got a good spot for you at the name time. Perfect. Perfect. Um, so I will give a very brief introduction, but I don’t wanna steal from your time for Marks. Um, Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd district, um, and it’s nearly 1 million residents in the south, Southeast Los Angeles and Long Beach areas. Um, she’s an extremely strong voice for working families, advocating to improve working conditions, prioritizing the fight for a clean environment, digital inclusion, LGBTQ plus women’s rights and policies around economic ity, a small business so much, um, among other positions she serves as the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, um, which is a huge milestone for, uh, women in the Latino and Latina community. Um, so without further. And she just so happens to be, uh, the single biggest reason why we passed SB 1137 into law. Um, so thank you Senator Gonzalez, and along with all of you, um, so Senator Gonzalez, take it away. Oh, sure. Yeah.

Senator Lena Gonzalez (10:07):

Well, thank you so much for having me. And I, I, I appreciate all the kudos, but I really couldn’t do it without all of you. Many of you have been working on this, as Kobe mentioned, for meant though I commented a lot of the glory. But really it’s, it’s our environmental justice communities. Uh, it’s so many of you academics, the scientists that provided the, the data in the background as to why we needed to have what we all think is pretty, uh, reasonable, a health protection zone for people living near oil drilling. We want a health protection zone. 3,200 feet doesn’t seem like a lot to ask for, but in this climate, even when people say in California, you’ve got a super majority, you, you can get this done even in the super majority, we know, and I’m preaching to the choir here, that it still remains very difficult, very, very difficult to get these types of legislation passed.


Um, we knew that in the Senate it passed with barely 21 votes. That’s all you need to get it off it just by the hair arch Chin, chin. Got it, got it. Moved forward and in the assembly it took a while, just sat there to get 41 votes and then the 43 votes needed. It’s very difficult. But so many of you for keeping up the fight with us to ensure that we get these really integral, uh, pieces of legislation passed because back home where I live in South Los Angeles and Long Beach, west Long Beach, where oil has been in our history books for over a hundred years, um, we know that the status quo no longer, uh, is acceptable. We have to move on and we have to ensure everyone is at the table. So thank you for having me.

Woody Little (11:18):

Thank you so much, Senator Gonzalez. Um, alright. And how you have time to stick around and do answers and then some do questions or, I’m

Senator Lena Gonzalez (11:26):

In the middle of chairing a transportation committee, but I’m here with you a

Woody Little (11:28):

Great, let’s, I wanna

Senator Lena Gonzalez (11:29):

See, have a vice chair for a reason.

Woody Little (11:30):

Does anyone have a question for Sandra Gonzalez before she takes off? And then we’ll go to Anne just to put you on the spot. If not, that’s okay. Yes. Can

Audience (11:38):

You talk a little bit more about the power and the oil industry’s power in influencing equity on the ballot and what we can do to capture that?

Senator Lena Gonzalez (11:46):

Yes, I think it had been mentioned before. I mean, they spent 20 to four just gather, meeting our communities left and right saying that this would actually create a health protection zone when it wouldn’t. Um, and a lot of my neighbors actually going to Signal Hill, um, the target at Signal Hill or the Ralphs or what have you had said, oh, you know, I I just signed a petition <laugh> that basically said that we’re gonna enact your law. And I said, oh my gosh, no. So with, um, our partners in labor who are also fighting on the, uh, the fast food worker side to ensure that fast food workers have, uh, protections and, and and worker protections together in this fight, environmental and labor working together, we’re able to document a lot of this material. And also I think through this next year is continuing to inform our residents.


Um, I’m gonna be doing a little bit of roadshow, uh, with, uh, Jane Fonda <laugh>. I think she’s doing one, I think vision’s doing one cbe. So how all of our groups are, are going to do root shows to just continue to engage our communities as to what, uh, the bill does and why the referendum and all the reform that we’re doing in the legislation, um, that we’re pushing now is, is very important. And sometimes you gotta make it crystal clear for folks you know, is, uh, you know, these, even as a senator, it’s sometimes very difficult as we know to look at a ballot initiative in am my, am I for, am I against it? What does it mean? We have to make it crystal clear. So that’s my hope is that in this next year through, uh, partners like S C I U and Vision and all of our, our friends that we’re able to really, um, make it clear for, for voters in various languages as well. I have a very large Kami speaking community, Cambodian community in in Long Beach, um, that needs to know what’s going on as well. So we’re engaging in all levels. Um, so please help us in any way you can in that, in that respect.

Kobi Naseck (13:12):

And I’ll, I’ll answer that briefly to say that the that’s okay. Effort to change. The reference in process in California is called Against being sponsored by Assembly Member of Brian, who was also a really, um, important EJ champion for our communities. Um, and so we have the potential right now, very, very, very soon to change how the reference and process is using California and to make sure it’s no longer a tool of the corporate elite to sub our democracy. Um, so keep an eye on, for those who are really interested in how we can in the short help this two year fight to get to the ballot 2224, um, is to support AB 4 21 and the referendum reforms that are within it.

Woody Little (13:43):

Thank you. Great. Um, thank you for that diversion. Now back to our, our, our presentation from Anne Alexander. Super brief instruction for Anne. She’s a litigator, she’s a policy advocate with the Natural Resource Defense Council, where she fights both statewide and nationally to curb polluting fossil fuel development. Um, and before arriving at NRDC, um, Anne has done all sorts of great work, um, as environmental counsel to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, um, where she looked on very various, uh, impressive environmental initiatives. So without further ado, I’ll pass it to Anne to tell us a little bit about our orphan well problem here in California.

Ann Alexander (14:16):

And I have no organizer voice, but <laugh>,


I’m sorry, clicker is here. Oh, that’s the clicker. Okay. No,


Let’s go backward. But I will attempt to use my courtroom voice, see if that works. That voice. Perfect. Um, panel, um, I’m here to talk to you today about what is basically the end game of fossil fuel advocacy, which is orphan wells. Um, even if we fully succeed in phasing out production, which we will <laugh>, we are still going to be left with the orphan wells to deal with. Um, sorry. And these wells are not just, they are a huge fiscal issue, the state, which I will explain, uh, but they’re also, um, everything that you have heard about from Nayeli and others about the impact of wells applies as much or perhaps even more so with these orphan wells, which are, tend to be in a state of spewing both, uh, explicit levels of methane at times and also volatile organic compounds, which are the toxic air contaminants are concerned about.


So I’m gonna give you an overview, um, quickly, cuz I know we don’t have a lot of time left. Um, but of the nature of the problem and how we got here and some steps, uh, that we are looking to take to get ourselves out of it. Um, first off, just a quick definition, an orphan well, um, is an idle l which has no available responsible solvent party to clean it up. So in other words, it is the province of the state, uh, tatted, plugged and abandoned a subset of idle wells, which just means a well that is no longer abusing. Um, and here are the numbers. Uh, there was a study done, um, by ccs t back in 2018. There’s been more analysis by Cal Gem since, but the numbers are, are roughly the numbers, which is that you’ve got about 5,500 wells, uh, which are called at high risk of being orphan, which functionally means they are, that there’s nobody here to plug and abandon them.


Another nearly 70,000 that are what they refer to as, um, marginal as well as idle, which means they’re well on their way to being orphan wells if we don’t do something to make sure that we have a solvent party around. And then we have a total of a little north of a hundred thousand total wells that at some point are gonna have to get cleaned up. Um, um, and the numbers for the atri wells, that is going to be the responsibility of California taxpayers unless we come up with a better solution. Um, the 70,000 ish, we’re talking another 5.2 billion. And then to clean all of them, you know, 9 billion jump change. Um, of course the good news, um, sort of is that, um, there has been a lot of money of late allocated to clean these up. There is a hundred million that was allocated last year by the California legislature, um, and the, the feds, uh, through the, um, I A J A allocated another uh, hundred 40 million ish.


That money is still coming in. So that’s the good news. Uh, the bad news is that that doesn’t even come close to even being half billion dollars. The even more bad news is that this is all taxpayer money. Um, basically we have the oil companies, uh, having prompted for about a century from the oil industry and they’re leaving us to, to pay to clean it up. It’s of operation and you’re the ones with the bill. Um, so briefly, how did we get here with these orphan wells? Of course, we start with the fact that production has been steeply declining in California. Um, this is that the chart from EIA that shows where we were in the 1980s, which was the third largest producer dropping to a few years ago, we were, uh, we’ve dropped to the seventh so steadily declining, that leaves us with, um, many more idle wells.


Um, this was not supposed to be a problem for plugging an abandonment, um, because the state, when someone wants to drill, collects a bond, um, and that bond is supposed to cover the costs. Um, the problem is it doesn’t cover the costs. Um, just to kind of give you a sense of it. For instance, there’s a provision that allows what they call blanket bonding, which means an operator of a lot of wells can get one bond to cover them all, which would numbers and bonded at about $200 a piece. The average cost to clean up a well in California to plug and abandon it is about 68,000. Often it’s a lot more the cat canyon wells that are being cleaned up with federal money, about 150,000 a pop, one in urban LA you could go over a million. So, um, right now there’s an average of about a thousand dollars of bonding per well, which is why we’re in this mess now.


Um, and then you add to that problem, um, the fact that what is happening is the majors who having drilled these wells, lose interest in them for, for obvious business reasons when they slow down and become idle. So what they do is they sell them to smaller, less solvent operators. Um, and those operators are of course less likely to be able to actually foot the bill for cleanup. They’re essentially buying the idle wells on the off chance that maybe a few of them will go back into production. They’re basically taking a bat, but not necessarily with the intention of plugging and abandoning them all. So the state ends up, once again, footing the bill. Um, lest you think that this is a paranoid fantasy on our part, this is exactly what happened with the bankruptcy on Rincon Island, which was a set of offshore wells owned by a company called Greca.


After, um, Atlantic Richfield had drilled wells mid-century last year, they went bankrupt with about $25,000 in their bank account. The public has now paid about 27 million, uh, to clean up the mess on rink on island. It’s not, um, this last to emphasize they, this problem is about how we clean them up, but why we need clean them up is this. Um, last year it was discovered essentially by accident. Not because somebody was carefully monitoring these wells, but because someone was looking at them, they actually stumbled onto a well, um, that was leaking so much methane, methane that you could hear it hissing. When you hear it hissing, it means that an explosion may be the next thing that happens. It also means that there is going to be a massive amount of co pollutants of these volatile organic compounds coming out of it. So this is what was discovered.


And then they kept when any, when people started looking in these bakerfield neighborhoods, they found more and more of these idle wells that were leaking. Some large fraction of them are, and the kicker, of course, is that the wells that they discovered are within literally a few hundred feet of people’s homes and schools and a daycare. Um, that is the situation we’re facing with these wells that right now we’re not sure how we’re gonna pay to plug and abandon them. Um, so we have certainly taken steps, um, in the state to try to address this problem. Particularly since the ccs t report in 2018 that I mentioned. I talked about the allocations of funds that we’ve had. Um, we have had industry funds a little bit of the remediation emphasis on the little bit under a tight cap. In other words, Cal Gem can spend the money and it will be reimbursed, but only somewhat.


Most of it is still paid by the tax. A few years ago, 2019, um, we had AB 10 57, which gives discretionary authority to cal GM to increase, uh, bonding amount as necessary, which is great, except they have not, um, used it yet. Authorizing and doing cost assessments for cleaning up orphan well wells. Uh, they have a methane task force. Um, and there are very statutory requirements, uh, requiring industry to, I think I can fairly say slowly, uh, clean up their wells, uh, or pay idle well fees. Um, so that leaves us with the steps that we need to take, uh, to get out of this mess. Um, did I just missed the slide here. We need to eliminate that cap. First of all, the polluter needs to pay on industry liability. Um, sorry, these are out of order. That’s <laugh>. What I meant to say is that the first thing we need to do is bonding reform.


Um, I think many of you this morning heard about, uh, AB 1167 that would essentially cut off the pass. Um, this trend that we currently have of, um, transfers to less solvent entities, it would require 1167 is about, ultimately we need full bonding reform as indicated out of order here, <laugh>. Um, but we can start with 1167, uh, to get there. Um, additionally, we need prompt plugging and abandonment of wells. We cannot leave them sing there. Um, we need to strengthen regulatory standards for leaks. And last but more, but not least, we need to stop drilling more wells because <laugh>, we are in a hole here. And first love holes. Is that when you’re in one Stop digging. Thank you.

Woody Little (21:49):

Thank you so much Anne. Um, alright. Thank you to all our panelists. And now we have time for some questions. I know you already got one in, so I’m waiting for another hand and we’ll come back to you. No, but I appreciate the enthusiasm Yes. In the front this

Audience (21:59):

Morning when, uh, introducing his name was, let’s kinda press on what floor the government can say she said law. What were you think

Woody Little (22:05):

That thing? Great question. Great question. Oh, I’ll repeat the question. Yes, thank you for the reminder. So, um, earlier this morning when, um, uh, Lauren Sanchez, um, who works, uh, with the Governor’s office, um, was pressed on this point of, uh, you know, uh, doing more, uh, to stop approving new permits, she said the CalJam, the state oil regulator was following the law. Uh, so the question is, what, what can we do? Um, so it’s a great question. Does anyone wanna take a first crack at it?

Nalleli Cobo (22:28):

Oh, go ahead. How much time do we have? Ooh, I think it’s, well, I truly understand position. This is a life or death scenario. You will act with urgency when it is your life on the line. You will act with urgency when it is your mom developing asthma at the age of 40 when your grandma gets asthma at the age of 70. The way I tell elected officials and politicians, anyone in power come to my house, spend the night in my house, spend a week [inaudible] type of vibes. It’s, you’re welcome to come and live in our shoes, to be in our community, to breathe the air that we breathe. Our effects are lived. Experiences don’t go away because we traveled into another zip code coming from Los Angeles to Sacramento. I still have asthma. I’m still a cancer survivor. At the age of 22, I still became an activist as a form of survival at the age of nine.


That doesn’t go away. The same urgency that we use to, to talk about issues, to say we’re doing the right thing and we’re we’re doing what we can is the same sense of urgency and passion that we need to reroute back shouldn’t go away cuz it’s not your life on the line because it’s not your little sister. We are real humans with lives at the age of nine. And even now I’m still obsessed with Justin Bieber. That doesn’t go away. Me being in love with dancing and music and makeup makes me who I am. And I’m not just an activist. I’m a person continue to make this a normal reality. The more and more we lose our sense of being a normal kid and we need to do better. Cuz when I was doing this at the age of nine, I would always get told, you should be in school. You should let this to the grownups. I should, I should have been in school. That’s where I want to be at the age of 11. I I didn’t wanna learn what lobbying was and how every Wednesday I would go, every Wednesday I should be watching Cyber Chase or Hannah Montana. You know, it was those things that I lost. And we need to remain that pressure and that same passion as if it’s our lives on the line.

Woody Little (24:22):

Thank you Nalleli. Oh, right. Another, another question. I’m gonna go to the person over here in green.

Audience (24:28):

Thank you. How do we work together? So we with with great respect and appreciation from the frontline folks who LiveWell, how would those of us, you don’t come to this program, how some together examples? Please.

Woody Little (24:45):

Such a good question. Just to repeat the question. It’s how, how can we work together? How can folks who are not themselves frontline community members who maybe you’re out here in Sacramento, uh, where there are a number of idle por mills, I’ll tell you that. Um, but how, how can we all work together in impunity? Uh, can we give some examples?

Kobi Naseck (24:59):

Yeah, I can answer this question, but first I might take a little bit of time to answer the last question a little further, which is, love it. One more can the Newsom administration do, and I I really, I’m not here to be a bullshitter for the past couple of years, every day that Governor Newsom wakes up as Governor, he can decide to do more. Um, and he hasn’t, certainly the Newsom adminis administration has made significant strides to villainize the oil and gas industry and to support our communities. But quite simply, when it comes down to it, like what he mentioned, over 500 rework permits have been permitted since January 1st this year alone. And so what we have is this agency Calk, which is following the law. Um, but, and you know, certainly a strapped agency like many, um, in Sacramento, um, they need more personnel, they need more funding or they need the bigger resources to do what they, what they’re supposed to do.


Um, but Newsom has not significantly, in our opinion, directed CalJam to take action on this issue. CalJam starting tomorrow can announce that they’re going to reinstate the rulemaking process that would make a 3,200 foot setback zone law, regardless of what happens at a ballot measure in 20, continue working two monitor. And that isn’t some random personnel on the walk with their animal who discovers a leaking well, but that we actually have people going in person and not doing desk monitoring to see, I’m sorry, I really not. That administration has the guts to take on the will industry where the permitting and where the monitoring, um, and where the staffing of that work actually happens, which is in the CalJam Agency.

Woody Little (26:21):

Thank you so much. I know we’re, we’re at time and I wanna make sure Senator Gonzalez can leave for another engagement, but I see you itching answers so

Senator Lena Gonzalez (26:26):

Icontinue to you. This is a great, great discussion. And, um, just recently I actually had to, um, lobby my own hometown city of Long Beach. Um, they wanted to rework 33 new wells. Um, they thought it was okay to do that. And they actually put forward a plan that stated nothing about environmental justice com com uh, communities, nothing about transparency, about 1137 and what the scenario plan could look like for this bill, um, should it be implemented. And instead what they wanted to do is continue to move forward a status quo and re rework these 33 new wells. Um, with no discussion. They put it on at like nine o’clock at night on the city Council Tuesday. And just hoped and prayed that nobody would, would find out. And this is the city departments, the the city council. We had to actually engage in, I had to write a letter and with many of my, um, local, uh, friends and climate activists back home, um, we were able to get the State Lands Commission to tell them, no, this is not okay.


Slap them on a hand a little bit and say, you have to provide contacts, include environmental justice communities, include regional context, not just on economic benefit for the mineral rights owners, for the actual community. What does this look like? What does the chapter two look like? Long Beach without oil. And so it, it takes a village and that just, it shouldn’t be the state senator coming in every darn time, but it really takes all of us, uh, to be able to understand that, you know, a lot of these, uh, issues are hidden, but somehow, um, we’re able to really, uh, make a difference when see from healthy LA that came in and, and also spoke in and supportive of what we were doing too. So it really takes us all and I appreciate anyone who’s willing to help us in that, in that fight in the venture.

Woody Little (27:50):

Thank you so much, Senator. Yes. Thank you for coming. Great off transportation. We’ll let you, we’ll let you sneak out if you gotta go. And then I saw that, I think Ann also wanted to chime in on this question of what can governor do and

Ann Alexander (28:00):

Yeah, I just wanted to respond on this idea of CalJam following the law, um, and explain why it’s a bit of an no answer. Um, first of all, because CalJam is not entirely following, following the law. They’re currently being sued over their failure to implement squa, which is the analytical tool that is supposed to be used to gauge environmental impacts of drilling. But beyond that, it’s a misconception of what the law is. The law isn’t a rigid set precepts that tells krim exactly what to do at each stage. It’s a set of bo of bounds of discretion, which are actually fairly broad. Cal mis charged with protecting the environment in connection with any drilling authorization. They do. The bounds are broad on what they can authorize and not authorize. And CalJam so far has shown not nearly the willingness we need them to show, to operate, um, at the protective end of those bounds of dis affected by commission.

Woody Little (28:46):

Alright. And then I guess to, to the question that was answered, maybe we can end there of like what can we do, how can we work together? Um, cuz we focus partially on what the governor can do. I dunno. Kobe have a quick word on that to close us out.

Kobi Naseck (28:55):

Yeah. Uh, the answer is, is perhaps much easier than you think. And really it is just to join us. And, and most importantly, um, it’s to stand next to, um, environmental justice communities. You know, we are not, um, saying that, uh, there isn’t room for like both our work and the people who are in Sacramento who may not be living with oil and gas every day. And to another, actually for the ballot measure fight, you can learn more by, um, following our social media, which is @voicesca. Um, and also you can come up and find me. And if you’re part of an organization that has any base, um, of, you know, local, we have, we have PTA groups all the way up to, um, you know, like big organizations like the Sierra Club to join our allies calls, um, and our allies newsletters so that when things happen, like a really important bill, like AB 4 21, you know how you can send out that blast to your community, um, to make the phone call or to um, send the email or whatever it is necessary. And then together we’ll move from there to, to the ballot 2024.

Woody Little (29:53):

Perfect. And the only thing I’d add is come join us for a big oil resistance store event. We’re now great speakers. Everything’s, so that is like a way to like, if talk to Kobe today, talk to Nalleli, talk to any of us, talk to Anne. Um, and yeah, come out and come to an organizing meeting and we’ll plug you right in. There’s plenty to do. So 13th, May 13th in Sacramento. That’s right. All right. If I could just go ahead. Na yes,

Nalleli Cobo (30:12):

Please. Last thing, and the way I think about this is, is like a symphony. We’re all in orchestra. No matter what instrument you’re holding big like the bassoon or small, like the flute, you are instrumental to this movement. Your unique talent, your unique strengths, your weaknesses can be somebody else’s strengths and vice versa. And that’s what makes this movement so unique and such that’ll have our, we do heroes out. So I told you it’ll be funny.

Woody Little (30:32):

Can’t think of a better way to close it out. All right. You’re already applauding to give a final round of applause to our pay list. Thank you. And a quick logistical note from Woody Hastings on what comes next. We have a short Yes, go ahead. Sure.

Woody Hastings (Staff, The Climate Center) (30:50):

We’re just gonna do some switching out of, uh, the things and we’re gonna be launching in, uh, at uh, two 40. We’re gonna try to start on time in the, uh, refineries issues, uh, section. And so thanks very much and hope a lot of you stay here all of you.

Woody Little (31:05):

Four minutes.

Woody Hastings (Staff, The Climate Center) (31:06):

Thank, thank you Woody and panelists.