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Amidst Mega-Drought Hundreds Urge Gov. Brown to Ban Fracking at State of the State Address
Around 200 concerned Californians gathered outside the Capitol building today to urge Gov. Brown (D-CA) to mitigate the state’s drought by halting the water-intensive drilling technique called fracking, and other extreme oil extraction methods.
The protest—which took place while Gov. Brown gave his State of the State Address before a joint session of the California Legislature—represented Californians from across the state and was organized by 350.org, California State Grange, Center for Biological Diversity, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, CREDO, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Oil Change International and other members of the statewide coalition Californians Against Fracking.
While the protest took place on the lawn of the Capitol building, activists from Oil Change International and 350.org deployed a three-story banner across from the State House with the message: “Governor Brown: Climate Leaders Don’t Frack. Ban Fracking Now."
“By allowing fracking to happen in California, Jerry Brown’s actions are in direct conflict with his rhetoric today on water conservation and climate change,” said Food & Water Watch California Director Adam Scow. “Brown’s current water and energy policies mismanage the people of California’s water supply, and this—not his ‘green’ talk—will be what defines his legacy.”
"California is facing both a water crisis and a climate crisis, both of which would be made worse by fracking," said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. "Gov. Brown has a huge opportunity to tackle both these challenges by banning fracking. A ban would prove he is a strong leader when it comes to protecting Californians."
Oil companies are gearing up to frack large reservoirs of unconventional shale oil in the Monterey Shale. Fracking uses large volumes of water mixed with dangerous chemicals to blast open rock formations and release oil and gas. Fracking releases large amounts of methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas. Rather than protecting the state of California, rules recently proposed by state officials will actually open the door to fracking, further endangering California’s air, water, wildlife, public health and climate.
“Having just declared a drought emergency, it’s time for Gov. Brown to face the facts and recognize that digging up and burning California’s reserves of dirty shale oil is only going to make this crisis worse,” said Ross Hammond, senior campaigner, Friends of the Earth.
"It's hypocritical for Gov. Brown to ask Californians to cut their personal water usage while pushing a plan that would allow the fracking industry to massively increase the amount of water it consumes and contaminates," said Zack Malitz, CREDO's campaign manager. "If Gov. Brown moves forward with his fracking plan, he'll be forcing farmers and ranchers to compete with the fracking industry for water while exacerbating climate change and making California even more vulnerable to extreme drought in the future."
Since the launch of Californians Against Fracking in May of 2013, more than 200,000 petitions have been signed urging Gov. Brown to ban fracking in California. Farmers, environmental justice groups, public health advocates, local elected officials, students, celebrities and many others are calling on Gov. Brown to halt fracking in California. Most recently, on Jan. 14, Californians Against Fracking delivered more than 100,000 public comments denouncing Gov. Brown's fracking regulations and calling for a ban on fracking.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
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'How Dare You Put Our Lives at Risk': Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims Rips GOP Members for 'Coverup' of Positive COVID-19 Tests
Brian Sims, a Democratic representative in the Pennsylvania legislature, ranted in a Facebook Live video that went viral about the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers who are pushing to reopen the state even though one of their members had a positive COVID-19 test.
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In another reversal of Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is having the National Park Service rescind a 2015 order that protected bears and wolves within protected lands.
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By Linda Lacina
World Health Organization officials today announced the launch of the WHO Foundation, a legally separate body that will help expand the agency's donor base and allow it to take donations from the general public.
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Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
By Nicholas Joyce
The coronavirus has resulted in stress, anxiety and fear – symptoms that might motivate a person to see a therapist. Because of social distancing, however, in-person sessions are less possible. For many, this has raised the prospect of online therapy. For clients in need of warmth and reassurance, could this work? Studies and my experience suggests it does.
Telehealth Versus Traditional Therapy<p><a href="https://www.cigna.com/hcpemails/telehealth/telehealth-flyer.pdf" target="_blank">Private insurance companies</a> like Cigna and Aetna, have come around; they now provide coverage for what they see as a "legitimate" service. And <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-wells-2019-consumer-survey-finds-majority-of-consumers-open-to-telehealth-adoption-continues-to-grow-300906438.html" target="_blank">surveys show</a> consumers are receptive to telehealth counseling: no driving to an appointment, no searching for a parking space, no worries about childcare while they're away, no need to switch providers if they move, and no problem if the specialist happens to be far away.</p><p>Online therapy opens doors for clients who wouldn't otherwise seek help, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/empirical-examination-of-the-influence-of-personality-gender-role-conflict-and-self-stigma-on-attitudes-and-intentions-to-seek-online-counseling-in-college-students/oclc/941976505" target="_blank">particularly patients</a> who feel stigmatized by therapy or intimidated by a stranger sitting across the room from them. Often, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295" target="_blank">people open up</a> more easily in telehealth sessions. Firsthand accounts have detailed <a href="https://www.romper.com/p/i-tried-online-therapy-for-a-month-this-is-what-happened-13630" target="_blank">positive experiences from consumers</a>.</p>
Overcoming Prejudices About Online Counseling<p>Now COVID-19 is forcing most traditional psychotherapists to adapt their practice to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/expressive-trauma-integration/202003/covid-19-etherapy-in-times-isolation" target="_blank">online counseling</a>. After experiencing the medium, they are <a href="https://www.wecounsel.com/blog/why-every-therapist-in-private-practice-needs-a-telehealth-option/" target="_blank">overcoming their prejudices</a>. Many will convert some or all of their caseloads to telehealth after the pandemic ends. Most of our clients seem to be good with it: responding to a satisfaction survey, 85% of USF students strongly or somewhat agreed their telehealth experience was comparable to an in-person visit.</p><p>All this allows a continuity of care for clients that before was impossible; there is, however, a caveat. Because of the coronavirus, some of my clients at USF who live out-of-state have moved back home. That means, legally, I can no longer serve them. Even though they are still USF students, my license is valid only in Florida.</p><p>For telehealth to work effectively, our national system of licensing and regulation law needs to adapt. Although the federal government temporarily halted HIPAA regulations to promote telehealth during this time, not all states are allowing out-of-state practice. The coronavirus may not be here forever, but spring break and Christmas holidays always will. We need seamless telehealth across state lines.</p>
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Kevin Frayer / Stringer / Getty Images
By Jessica Corbett
Even after the world's largest economies adopted the landmark Paris agreement to tackle the climate crisis in late 2015, governments continued to pour $77 billion a year in public finance into propping up the fossil fuel industry, according to a report released Wednesday.
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