Last year, Governor Newsom of California, signed a bill into law that created a 3200ft set back between communities in California and active oil wells. The largest setback of any oil-or gas-producing state and that distance is what science says is the safest.
Over 7 million Californians live within a mile of oil and gas wells, and nearly 2.2 million within 2500 feet. These frontline communities have seen people develop illnesses like cancer, heart and lung disease, preterm births, asthma, nosebleeds and more. They’ve been fighting for decades to have a setback bill to protect them. All of us thought we’d seen a major victory. But shortly after Newsom’s bill was passed, we learned the oil companies were mounting a referendum to kill it. They spent 20 million dollars on signature gathering, paying the people doing the gathering who were then really motivated to get signatures. These gatherers lied to people to get them to sign, saying that if Newsom’s bill went into effect, people would start getting sick in those communities and their gas prices would go up. All baloney.
We’ve heard Big Oil will spend $200 million to win this. If they succeed, this tactic will go national. Already the use of referenda to undo elections whose outcomes they don’t like is growing and is a direct assault on Democracy as well as on the communities that have suffered so much over the years.
On top of this, if Big Oil wins, this issue. – protecting the lives and health of people in frontline communities by creating setbacks – can never be revived. That’s it. Done. Forever.
This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. We MUST NOT allow Oil to win. Organizers are coming to California from around the country to help build a strong movement here. We need volunteers to canvas, go door to door, help get out the vote. Big Oil has already been running very slick, well produced ads about why this state needs more oil and gas. But the “facts” in these TV ads are deceiving and filled with lies. We will have to be able to counter those with the truth.
Please, if you are a Californian, go to the website cavsbigoil.com to understand more and sign up to help. Please follow on social media for additional information and updates: