Kern County Residents Fast Against Plan to Fast Track Fracking

By Dan Bacher | November 8, 2015 | As people throughout the world celebrate President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline, ...

By Dan Bacher | November 8, 2015 |

As people throughout the world celebrate President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline, Kern County residents are currently on a four-day fast for their dignity and their children’s future. They are seeking to draw attention to the environmental health issues related to fracking and extreme oil extraction in their county, where most of the state's oil wells are located.
kern county hunger strike
Fasters in front of the Kern County Board of Supervisors, 

including Madeline Stano (left) and Juan Flores (center) 
from the Center on Race, Poverty and the
 Environment (CRPE). Photo courtesy of the CRPE.

Kern residents and community leaders, who started fasting on November 5, will be fasting and praying all day and night up to the Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled at 9 am on November 9. The Board will decide on a proposed zoning ordinance that will fast track oil and gas drilling for the next 25 years without adequate health protections.

"Valley communities are already overburdened by the environmental health impacts of oil and gas drilling," according to Juan Flores of the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment in a press release. "Residents expect the County to approve the ordinance and plan to fast to call attention to the County’s unwillingness to protect its people."

"This will be a nonviolent act of civil disobedience. Press are invited to attend and community members will be available for interviews," said Flores.

The fasters are currently outside of the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 1115 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield, Calif. If the fast is forced to move, they will move to 930 Truxtun Ave, Ste 113, Bakersfield, Calif. Or follow the developments on Twitter by using #NoFrackFast.

The Committee for a Better Shafter and Kern County Community Residents are joining the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE) for the fast. Speakers who kicked off the fast yesterday included Jose Mireles – Lamont Parent Partners, Rosanna Esparza – Community Organizer in Lost Hills, CA, and Lupe Martinez – Kern resident and Assistant Director of CRPE.

The fast takes place at a critical time for California's people and environment. The biggest-ever gusher of Big Oil lobbying money into the state in one quarter, July 1 to September 30, 2015, resulted in the gutting or the defeat of every bill that the oil industry opposed in the last session of the State Legislature.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, set a new record for spending in one quarter when it spent an amazing $6,750,666.60 lobbying state officials in the third quarter of 2015 to lobby against Senate Bill 350, Senate Bill 32 and other environmental bills it opposed.

The total spent by the oil industry in the third quarter was an unprecedented $11 million to oppose Senate Bill 350, a climate change/renewable energy bill. Because of the strong opposition to the bill by Big Oil and corporate Democrats that receive big donations from the oil industry, the bill's sponsors removed a key provision mandating a 50 percent reduction in petroleum usage.

"In the first nine months of 2015, oil interests spent a total $17.7 million, putting the industry on pace to exceed its own $20 million spending record from 2014," according to a new report by the American Lung Association in California that analyzes the new lobbying figures. "Spending in 2015 already exceeds the $10 million the industry spent in 2010, the year Prop 23 was on the ballot." 

For more information about the fast, contact: Juan Flores, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, 661-709-2292, jflores [at]

About the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment: Founded in 1989, the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE) is an environmental justice organization that uses collective action and the law to support communities of color that bear the brunt of environmental hazards. CRPE has offices in California located in Delano and Oakland. For more on CRPE, go to

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Anonymous said...

Looks as though they had a packed house this morning...unable to pull up the whole article.

Anonymous said...

Keep fracking man. EPA has already announced more study is needed, but as of right now there are no harms.

Anonymous said...

Drill baby drill -sarah palin

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