For more than 2 years, California has delayed action on an urgent public health crisis: neighborhood oil and gas extraction. That delay finally came to an end this Fall, and relief for the more than 2 Million Californians who live near active oil or gas operations is in sight.

Science has shown that a 3,200 foot setback distance between oil and gas drilling and homes, schools, hospitals, daycare facilities, and prisons is the bare minimum needed to protect people from the worst health outcomes of living near constant oil and gas pollution: asthma, cancers, high-risk pregnancies, and now an increased risk for a serious case of COVID-19. A majority of impacted residents live in low-income communities or are Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities – a testament to the reality of environmental racism in California today.

Governor Gavin Newsom has instructed the state entity that regulates oil and gas, the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM), to establish rules to protect public health from impacts of oil and gas extraction and create setbacks, a huge step forward toward a future without toxic fossil fuels in our neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, while the draft rules are a good start, they do not go far enough.  350 Southland Legislative Alliance has submitted a detailed comment letter to request that the rule be strengthened. But CalGEM still needs to hear from as many people as possible!

That’s why we’re AGAIN asking everyone to Leave your public comment and tell CalGEM to strengthen and defend the setbacks rule. We can’t wait any longer for an end to oil and gas drilling near our homes, schools, healthcare sites, and prisons.

Please click on the easy tool provided by our Allies at VISION and add your public comment today. The deadline is 12/21/2021!

Sherry Lear, on behalf of the 350 Southland Legislative Alliance Steering Committee