Energy

California Enviros Demand Complete Ban On Oil And Gas Drilling

REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Environmentalist groups are leading a campaign to demand California Gov. Jerry Brown do more to combat climate change, or else face the consequences, even though he’s established himself as a leading national critic of the fossil fuel industry.

More than 750 different organizations — made up of mostly environmental, health, labor and social justice groups — have come together to call on Brown to place a complete ban on any new oil and gas drilling in the state of California. Additionally, these groups are also demanding Brown to completely phase out current production of fossil fuel energy, transitioning to a complete reliability on renewable sources.

The team of progressive groups call their cause Brown’s Last Chance. They issued an open letter to the Democratic governor and are already running attack ads in an effort to push the issue.

“We, the undersigned environmental, health, justice, faith, labor, community and consumer organizations from California and around the world, strongly urge you to champion a vision for California that looks beyond the oil and gas industry to a future that is safe and healthy for everyone,” read a portion of the letter to Brown, published Wednesday.

Brown’s Last Chance is already funding billboard and newspaper advertisements across California, including the cities of Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The not-so-subtle ads are specifically targeting the governor, with one billboard reading, “Governor Brown, if dirty oil has us ‘on the road to hell,’ turn us around,” and another that reads, “Dear Governor Brown, is dirty oil the future you will leave our children?”

The negative advertisements aren’t the only thing the group will hit Brown with if he doesn’t capitulate to their demands. The open letter also suggested that members of Brown’s Last Chance will not support an upcoming international climate summit to be held in San Francisco if he continues issuing drilling permits.

The governor will be hosting the Global Climate Action Summit in September, but a major protest of the event from environmentalists would make for an embarrassing moment for a liberal politician who has branded himself a green energy hawk.

“Threatening to sabotage a climate summit aimed at mobilizing world leaders to push beyond the Paris Agreement is a curious way to fight climate change,” said Evan Westrup, Brown’s press secretary, in a statement on Wednesday.

Brown, however, is no stranger to environmental advocacy. He launched his own international coalition of cities, states and countries to combat climate change. In his own state, he has pushed through legislation that calls for sweeping reductions in emissions. More recently, the governor has widely resisted the Trump administration’s efforts to rollback Obama-era environmental regulations.

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