Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

California’s Governor is Doing Big Oil’s Dirty Work on Fracking

Last week the Chief Executive of Occidental Petroleum, a mega-fracker, told analysts and investors if “towns don’t want us there, we won’t be there.” What he failed to mention was they don’t need to fight the local fracking bans popping up all across California; it seems they’ve got the Governor in their pockets doing the dirty work for them.

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This is the sad state of affairs in California right now. Our governor, the same Jerry Brown who was once called Governor Moonbeam, appears to have thrown his lot in with the frackers. It’s not hard to guess why: he’s swimming in dirty energy money. Occidental Petroleum alone has supported the governor to the tune of $835,000 since 2006, far more money than any local community group could ever dream of coming up with. Oxy is one of Governor Brown’s largest and most consistent financial supporters — time and again, they are among the most prolific bankrollers of his political campaigns and private initiatives.

As a comparison, $835,000 could have payed for the Governor’s entire salary for four years (a whole term in office) and there would still be $170,000 left over!

Governor Brown’s latest advocacy on behalf of frackers like Occidental came just a few weeks ago in Carson, a city just south of Los Angeles. In March, the Carson City Council rightfully decided to place a 45 day moratorium on new oil and gas production, halting a proposal by Occidental to drill 200 new oil wells in the community.

This, not surprisingly, became a major thorn in Occidental’s efforts to frack in the area, and perhaps around the state. Reports circulated that Carson could become an example other cities might follow leading to a wave of local fracking bans across the state, much to the chagrin of Occidental. In just 45 days, with no small amount of pressure and strong-arming, Occidental — and their friends in Sacramento — were able to turn a unanimous city council decision into a 50/50 split, allowing the moratorium to expire.

What helped clinch the vote was a personal call Governor Brown made to the Mayor of Carson who is also a voting member of the City Council. Read that again: In the final hours before the vote, Big Oil had the Governor of California making personal calls to protect oil and gas interests.

After the vote, Governor Brown made a personal trip to Carson to thank those who helped overturn the fracking moratorium. That’s right, the democratically elected Governor of one of the most progressive states in the country is not just letting fracking happen, he’s actively working to make sure it happens more.

Of course Occidental doesn’t need to fight local fracking bans, the Governor of California is doing it for them.

Now, more than ever, it’s time to push back and demand Governor Brown protect the people of California, not Big Oil and other special interests. He can either stand with us and our communities, or stand with the oil corporations lining his pockets. He can’t do both.

Sign our petition calling for Governor Brown to put a stop to fracking in California.

Comments (9)

  1. Barbara rothkrug says:

    It’s disgusting for the governor to strong arm the city of Carson in its efforts to stop fracking

  2. marvin stovall says:

    Not only did the governor get involved but so did the NAACP and union members that don’t live in the city . This divided the city as well as turned unions against other unions . As a long time union member that will be affected by this action they created a wall that totally is against the meaning of union. What is sad is they probably won’t get the jobs and our homes and quality of life will be destroyed ‘

  3. Dr. James McFadden says:

    I guess we now know Brown’s price — his 30 pieces of silver — about $835,000. Brown will be remembered as the oily governor who helped cook the planet — who helped ignite the carbon bomb and destroyed CA’s aquifers — as the corporate ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ governor who betrayed the people of his state for oily money. Its time to abandon the corrupt Democratic leadership and vote Green.

  4. Jennifer Mizote says:

    I can’t believe that you are not listening to the people of the State of California. I know that you have received money from the big oil corporations, but we are at a critical time on our planet to stop adding not only carbon to the air, but our water supply in California is also at a critical time due to the drought. We should not allow ANY fracking due to 1) the use of precious water being used to frack, and 2) the possibility of the chemicals that are used in fracking to leak into our water supply. Please used your heart and your head to take care of not only this State, but our planet!!! Thank you for reading and I hope you will listen. Jennifer Mizote

  5. Jennifer Mizote says:

    I can’t believe that you are not listening to the people of the State of California. I know that you have received money from the big oil corporations, but we are at a critical time on our planet to stop adding not only carbon to the air, but our water supply in California is also at a critical time due to the drought. We should not allow ANY fracking due to 1) the use of precious water being used to frack, and 2) the possibility of the chemicals that are used in fracking to leak into our water supply. Please used your heart and your head to take care of not only this State, but our planet!!! Thank you for reading and I hope you will listen. Jennifer Mizote

  6. Kersten jordanmaree says:

    Gov. Browns supporting big oil is BS and he does not represent the will of the people!!!

  7. Jstn Green says:

    Brown is the color of dirty oil

  8. Lauren Steiner says:

    And don’t discount the impact of Big Labor in that decision. The LA County Fed bussed in 500 union workers to do Oxy’s dirty work. Maria Elena Durazo was sitting close to George Mihlstein, Oxy’s $1000 an hour attorney. He didn’t have to say a word. The irony is there won’t be that many jobs in Carson and they won’t be union jobs and they probably won’t go to Carson residents. Albert Robles, the councilman who authored the moratorium resolution, said he was ambushed by a bunch of labor leaders, locked into a conference room and told that if he voted to extend the moratorium, they would run someone against him in the next election. These Mafioso tactics are reprehensible. These unions don’t even care that fracking is dangerous not just to workers but the the health of the residents of these mostly working class communities where these projects are sited.

  9. Jane Yett says:

    Gov. Brown, You should have the dignity to stand beyond big oil’s grasp. We need our clean water and unfracked land, not more gas. Tax the oil production we already have in the state!

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