Hundreds of activists call for an end to fossil fuels in Sacramento before Climate Ambition Summit

Photo of rally at the State Capitol featuring overturned "oil derrick" props on July 4, 2023. Photo by Dan Bacher. Hundreds of activists will be participating in the Action to End Fossil Fuels in Old Sacramento on Sunday, Sept. 17 starting at 11 a.m. | 





By Dan Bacher | 

SACRAMENTO, CA –  On Sunday, Sept 17 starting at 11 a.m., hundreds of climate justice advocates from dozens of groups across northern and central California will hold a “joyous” Action to End Fossil Fuels in Old Sacramento.

The advocates will call on Governor Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden to halt approvals of new and reworked oil drilling permits and declare a climate emergency, according to a press advisory from the coalition sponsoring the action.

This action is the West Coast counterpart to the March to End Fossil Fuels, taking place concurrently in New York City. On Sunday, as part of his trip to New York for Climate Week, Governor Newsom will participate in the Climate Week NYC Opening Ceremony.

“Speaking with David Gelles of The New York Times for a discussion entitled, ‘Approaching the Climate Crisis Differently,’ the Governor will announce new climate efforts the state is taking,” the Governor’s Office announced in an advisory.

The event is scheduled for Sept. 17 at 1:00 p.m., PST.  Register with Climate Week NYC to watch the event here.  

The action in Sacramento  takes place on the one year anniversary of Gov Newsom signing into law SB 1137, which established a health and safety buffer between oil and gas wells and homes, schools and hospitals. The law has been on hold pending an oil industry-backed referendum.

The action also occurs as the total number of oil drilling permits issued by California’s oil and gas regulator, CaGEM, has blown past 15,000 since Governor Newsom took office in 2019. Nearly all permits issued in the first six months of 2023 were to fix unproductive wells, not to drill new ones, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance revealed in an analysis.  

The California Legislature just became the largest economy to support the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a non-binding resolution that signals support for “bolder action to end state support of fossil fuel infrastructure.”

Organizations sponsoring this Action include: 350 (Sacramento and Bay Area), Extinction Rebellion (Sacramento and Bay Area), Fridays for Future (Sacramento, Davis and Fresno), Sunrise Movement (Sacramento and Bay Area), CA Youth vs Big Oil,  Sacramento Climate Coalition, Climate Health Now, Mother's Rebellion, Idle No More, Third Act, Climate Reality Project (Sacramento and Bay Area Chapters), Climate Action California, Food and Water Watch and the Last Chance Alliance.

Schedule:

WHEN: Sunday, September 17

WHERE:    Old Sacramento, 1100 Front St, Sacramento CA 

WHATSpeakers and Entertainment:

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Visuals    Remarks by young activists and community leaders, musical performances, a giant puppet show, painting of a 50 ft sidewalk mural, a pop up art gallery of posters made by climate disaster-affected artists, carnival games.   

Tower Bridge March with Banner Hang and Kayakers in the River

Time:        12:00 PM - 12:15 PM

Visuals:    Hundreds of Activists flood the tower bridge with colorful signs and banners, and hang a 60ft banner from the bridge, while a dozen kayakers with flags erect a banner in the river below. 

Speakers and Entertainment

Time:        12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Visuals:    Continuing carnival games and arts activities, a group flashmob to the song “Staying Alive”, additional speakers and musical entertainment, sharing circles for participants. 

WHO:

Hundreds of activists representing environmental and climate groups, indigenous and social justice groups, and labor groups. Organizers include Oil and Gas Action Network, Extinction Rebellion, 350 Sacramento and Bay Area, Third Act, Idle no More, Fridays for Future, Sunrise Movement among others. 

WHY: 

California is the seventh largest oil producing state in the country, while the US now tops the global charts in oil and gas production.

President Biden is on track to approve more fossil fuel projects than Trump, although his administration just this week canceled oil and gas land leases in the sensitive Alaska National Wildlife Reserve. 

U..S and global oil production continues to soar to record levels. Here are the projections for 2023 and 2024 from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA):

• U.S. crude oil production. “As a result of higher expected well-level productivity and higher crude oil prices, we expect U.S. crude oil production will average 12.8 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2023 and 13.1 million barrels per day in 2024, both annual records,” EIA stated. 

• Global oil production. "We forecast global liquid fuels production will increase by 1.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2023. Non-OPEC production increases by 2.1 million b/d in 2023, which is partly offset by a drop in OPEC liquid fuels production.”

“In 2024, global production increases by 1.7 million b/d, with 1.2 million b/d coming from non-OPEC countries. Non-OPEC production growth in the forecast is led by the United States, Brazil, Canada, Guyana, and Norway,” the EIA reported.

“Neighborhood oil drilling operations emit known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors that increase community risks of asthma, birth defects and cancer,” according to the coalition. “Climate justice activists will ask Governor Newsom to stop approving  fossil fuel projects and end neighborhood oil drilling once and for all.” 

The action is planned as the outrageous lobbying spending by Big Oil and Big Gas to influence the Legislature, regulators and Governor’s Office in California appears to be only getting worse, according to the latest lobbying disclosures with the California Secretary of State. The oil industry pumped $13.4 million into lobbying California officials in just the first six months of 2023.

Lobbying disclosures from Quarter 2 of 2023 analyzed by three climate and environmental justice groups reveal that oil companies and trade associations spent more than $3 million lobbying and a grand total of $4,085,639.57 in just three months to shape policymaking efforts in its favor in California: www.dailykos.com/...  

“This brings the total mid-year spending by Big Oil to influence energy and climate policy in California to more than $13.4 million, a total that puts them on track to exceed their 2022 expenditure of $18 million,” according to a joint press statement by the Climate Center, VISIÓN and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The latest disclosures follow the $9.4 million that Big Oil spent to influence the California Legislature, Governor’s Office and agencies in the first quarter of 2023. Chevron came in first with over $4.9 million spent in the first quarter, while the WSPA finished second with over $2.3 million and Aera Energy finished third with nearly $628,000.

These disclosures also follow the $34.2 million that Big Oil spent lobbying in the 2021-22 session. WSPA topped lobbying expenses with $11.7 million spend in the 2021-22 session, while Chevron finished second with a total of $8.6 million lobbying California officials: www.davisvanguard.org/…

In one of the biggest oil industry influence stories of the year, I revealed that the Western States Petroleum Association, the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in California, is now funding dinners and awards ceremonies for journalists: www.dailykos.com/…

Unfortunately, the mainstream media and most “alternative” media outlets have refused to report on this huge scandal.

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