As voters head to the polls next week in California,a coalition of Latino groups released a letter addressed to Governor Brown and other candidates running for office to commit to stopping fracking. The groups—including leaders from Presente.org, Azul, Mujeres de la Tierra, William C. Velasquez Institute, Latino Outdoors, Voces Verdes, Americas for Conservation + the Arts and the Americas Latino Eco Festival, and Stewards of the Earth—are urging Governor Brown to use his executive authority to place an immediate moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other high-intensity extraction techniques.
“Latinos across California are taking a closer look at who stands with us, and who chooses to side with the powerful oil and gas industry at the expense of the health of our families. Governor Brown and other candidates hoping to get our vote next week need to keep that mind,” said Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org, the largest Latino online organizing group in the nation. “Ramping up fracking will disproportionately affect Latino communities by draining our water sources, poisoning our families, and fueling climate change.”
“Until Governor Brown and our state leaders take action to stop fracking, they are complicit in allowing the oil industry to assault the health and livelihoods of Latino communities,” said Marcela Gutierrez, founder of Azul, an organization working to foster Latino leadership in ocean and coastal conservation. “We are calling for a moratorium on fracking and we urge state candidates running for office to come out publicly in support of stopping fracking and other high-intensity extraction techniques in our state.”
Polls show a majority of Californians oppose fracking outright, and the most recent poll, showed 68% support a moratorium on fracking and acidizing. Moreover, 64% of Latinos support a moratorium that could be lifted only after an environmental study and 55% of them also support an immediate and outright ban on fracking that could be lifted only by the Legislature. In addition, several communities have begun efforts to prohibit fracking locally. While these efforts are significant, they are not a substitute for comprehensive statewide action that will protect all Californians.