The oil money is out! Sunrise movement leads protest to remove fossil fuel money from Democratic California politics


Youth-based Sunrise activists from across California will march from CalSTRS in western Sacramento to the Sacramento State Capitol on Friday, October 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to demand that the Party’s board of directors Democrat of California (CADEM) votes for ban contributions to fossil fuels and law enforcement in the Party.

By Dan Bacher

California politicians consistently portray the state as a “green” and “progressive” leader despite the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency CalGEM having approved more than 9,000 oil and gas wells. new and revamped gases since January 2019 and still does not require health and safety rollbacks around oil and gas wells like other states mandate.

These fossil-fuel-friendly policies continue due to the capture of regulators by Big Oil and Big Gas, ranging from the governor’s office to the legislature, regulators, panels and commissions.

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In fact, the California Democratic Party itself continues to take money for both fossil fuels and law enforcement, according to a press advisory from the Sunrise Movement and the CADEM Progressive Caucus.

“Despite CADEM Committee recommendations rejecting both fossil fuel and law enforcement funding, the Democratic Party of California Progressive Caucus reveals that the Party has taken $ 330,000 in funding from the fuel industry. fossil fuels and over $ 380,000 in law enforcement funding during the 2020 election cycle, ”according to Caucus and Sunrise California. “The Party’s actions are a flagrant violation of transparency and public trust. “

The $ 330,000 of silver from fossil fuels came entirely from Sempra Energy, the parent company of SoCalGas, the company responsible for the massive natural gas eruption at the Aliso Canyon storage facility in October 2015.

Friday’s march precedes the special CADEM meeting on Sunday 24 October during which the council vote is scheduled. Members of Sacramento, Kern, Long Beach, Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Claremont Colleges and possibly other locations are expected to witness the action, the notice said.

Activists will gather at CalSTRS (100 Waterfront Pl, West Sacramento, CA 95605) at 11 a.m., then cross Tower Bridge and walk down M and L streets to the West Steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento..

The walk coincides and is coordinated with the Walk for Stolen Lives and Futures.

Activists claim that CADEM’s policies regarding its own fundraising, as well as statements about appropriate fundraising sources for individual politicians, “have the power to determine whose money influences political outcomes in the state.” of California ”.

They point out that California politicians and the state’s Democratic Party claim to be leaders in climate policy. Yet even as the state experiences heatwaves, droughts, wildfires and massive fish mortalities linked to climate change on the Klamath River, Sacramento River and Butte Creek, activists say the legislature state has failed to pass meaningful climate legislation since 2018.

“Young people are fed up with the hype from our so-called leaders when they continue to act like we have no right to a future,” said Josiah Edwards, organizer of Sunrise California, in a statement. communicated. “We have the right to a just and liveable future and more. If party leaders believe in this right, then they have a moral obligation to officially end the influx of fossil fuels and law enforcement money into party coffers. Otherwise, they are more than accomplices – they become stubborn accomplices who have actively worked to end the last generation of humanity.

“Police violence continues to terrorize our communities as the implementation of modest reforms progresses slowly. Meanwhile, law enforcement budgets have grown locally and the state treats California Highway Patrol officers favorably over other state officers. The increase in law enforcement resources is a waste for other public needs, including greenhouse gas reduction and climate adaptation, ”according to Edwards.

We have been fighting Party leadership since 2020 to achieve a permanent ban on fossil fuels and law enforcement money, ”said Amar Shergill, chairman of the CADEM Progressive Caucus. “Now, with the help of board members from across the state, we’ve forced a special meeting and a simple ‘up or down’ vote to get rid of this dirty money. No more delay, no more compromises; it is time to do this.

The action on Friday follows action on Oct. 16 in Kern County. Local organizers with Sunrise Kern, a local hub of the national Sunrise Movement, and InTheField661, a local Bakersfield self-help group, gathered outside the home of Kern County Democratic Party Chairman Christian Romo, to demand they vote to ban fossil fuels and police money from the California Democratic Party at the board meeting on Oct. 24.

Background: regulators have approved 9,728 oil drilling permits since January 2019

Governor Newsom’s petroleum regulators have approved 9,728 oil and gas drilling permits since taking office in 2019, according to a new permit analysis approved through October 1, 2021 and posted on by Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance. The groups said Newsom “should immediately stop approving more oil permits to avoid hitting the 10,000 mark.”

CalGEM approved a total of 1,577 permits in total in the first nine months of 2021, a variation of 53% from the number of permits issued in 2020. The agency approved 516 new well permits and 1,061 well permits. remanufacturing of oil wells in the first six months of this year.

The agency issued a total of 150 declared permits issued for offshore wells from January 1, 2019 to October 1, according to the two groups. Five of these permits were for new drilling and the remaining 145 for rework (including diversions and deepening operations).

“Half of the total was issued for unused wells that should be plugged and properly abandoned to reduce the risk of blowouts, leaks and other accidents. In the first three quarters of 2021, 17 offshore permits were issued, ”the groups said.


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