A monthly roundup of links featuring the latest news on fossil fuels, neighborhood drilling, clean energy, and the frontline communities fighting climate change in Los Angeles and beyond.
This young environmentalist lives 500 feet from a drilling site | Huffington Post
Protecting people and communities from drilling chemicals, odors, and noise is personal. Ashley Hernandez, the youth organizer of Communities for a Better Environment from Wilmington, is featured here. “She remembers staying indoors when explosions rocked the city’s oil refineries, being warned by adults not to drink tap water, and having her school soccer field roped off by yellow tape because of soil contamination.”
Why California’s oil policy matters for the Amazon | Amazon Watch
Does Amazonian drilling feel far off? In reality, “about half of the oil exports from the Western Amazon Basin come to California to be processed by refineries and used by consumers in the state. This means that more oil from the Amazon rainforest is used in California than anywhere else in the world.” See how California’s demand for toxic crude oil ties directly to rampant deforestation and destruction across the Amazon.
The Cadiz Inc. proposal to pump 16.3 billion gallons of water each year for the next 60 years risks drying up the largest spring in the southeastern Mojave Desert, a recent study finds. “Frazier Haney, land conservation director for the Mojave Desert Land Trust, said the new research shows those environmental review documents were based on incomplete science and that the water project poses a serious threat to the spring.”
Bill McKibben of 350.org wrote this op-ed spotlighting the nearly 800 groups including SoCal350 that released a letter Wednesday calling on Jerry Brown to act on climate in his final months as governor. “It seems a little churlish to prod Jerry Brown on carbon issues. He’s done as much as any leader in the world to move forward on the climate and energy crises that are the defining challenges of our time. But the truth is Brown’s not done anywhere near what he could, nor what the situation demands.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted this week to commit nearly $11 billion to building two massive tunnels that will revamp the system that delivers water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta to the Southland. Up against corporate agri-business, real estate development, big oil and a strong push by Governor Brown, opposition is strong, citing how the project would “be used to rob the delta of more fresh water. The answer to the delta’s problems is to reduce exports and develop more local supplies, they say.”
The Fatal Flaw of Alberta’s Oil Expansion | The National Observer
“For environmentalists and climate scientists, the chemical composition of Alberta bitumen is cause for deep worry about toxic air emissions, potential spills into waterways and aquifers, and further destabilizing the Earth’s precarious climate. Together with First Nations, they have vowed to fight long and hard for ecological reasons.”
EcoWatch highlights the danger of crude oil by rail exports, which are expected to see a heavy boost this year among the Canadian tar sands. “And Canada has plenty of capacity to load oil on more trains, which means if a producer is willing to pay the premium to move oil by rail, it can find a customer to do it. The infrastructure is in place to load approximately 1.2 million barrels per day.”
Time is running out for Gov. Brown to shut down Aliso Canyon – The Los Angeles Daily News opinion piece argues shutting down Aliso Canyon, the site of the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history, is “Gov. Jerry Brown’s last chance to do something meaningful for the environment and set his legacy.”
‘The Harms of Fracking’: New report details increased risks of asthma, birth defects and cancer – Rolling Stone spotlights a recent report by Physicians for Social Responsibility that found “no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health.”
A new generation of activists, born next to an oil refinery – This High Country News feature on the community leaders of Wilmington that grew up around the Tesoro refinery is a must read. “Arredondo is at the helm of a growing movement made up mostly of women of color who grew up here but left to get an education, and then later returned to battle the industries that are poisoning their families.”
LA County is not doing enough for residents near oil wells – ABC News published the findings of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that the County is not doing enough for residents that live near the 3,400 active oil and gas wells from getting sick.
LA to oppose $17 billion water tunnels if its residents pay more than fair share – Los Angeles Daily News reports that the LA City Council moved to oppose staged construction of a proposed multibillion-dollar water-delivery tunnel project if it would result in greater costs or a greater portion of the financial burden for Los Angeles ratepayers. “The agency’s support was considered key to the project’s success, and its directors must now decide whether to commit funds to the new staged construction proposal.”
Why gas-fired power plants are on the chopping block in SoCal – KPCC reports on the closing of three local power plants fueled by natural gas. “Cities and counties are banding together into energy purchasing groups that are steering away from gas-powered plants in favor of renewables. It’s a strategy called Community Choice Aggregation.” However, Glendale Water & Power is in the final stages of getting environmental approvals from City Council for a new gas-fired plant at the Grayson power plant.
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