This City Just Banned Fossil Fuel Extraction in Light of Trump Presidency
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved legislation Tuesday prohibiting the city "from entering into or extending leases for the extraction of fossil fuel from city-owned land" in an effort to combat climate change.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved legislation prohibiting new fossil fuel leases on city-owned property in an effort to combat climate change.iStock
The legislation by Supervisor John Avalos originated with 350 Bay Area analyst Jed Holtzman, who discovered the city was leasing to Chevron an 800-acre property that it inherited in Kern County. City finance officials say converting the property to a solar array could generate more revenue than current oil operations, which net the city about $320,000 annually.
"We're headed for catastrophic changes to our climate if we don't reduce our use of fossil fuels now. With the pending Trump presidency, local leadership on climate change is more urgent and important than ever," Avalos said.
"San Francisco and other cities can help lead this country into the clean energy future we need and resist the catastrophic policies our president-elect has proposed. The fact that we can make as much revenue from solar as we do from oil just reinforces that it's time to keep dirty fossil fuels in ground and transition to a renewable-powered economy."
Trump Plans to Quit Paris Deal, Hires Climate Denier for EPA Transition Team https://t.co/VmIFodrnka @CeresNews @UCSUSA— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1479171909.0
The legislation was unanimously approved by the board's Budget and Finance Committee on Oct. 26 and its Land Use Committee on Nov. 14, following supportive testimony by members of 350 Bay Area, the Center for Biological Diversity and other San Francisco residents. The Board of Supervisors will follow Tuesday's vote with a second vote Nov. 29, after which it will go to Mayor Ed Lee for his signature, which is widely expected given the board's veto-proof unanimous vote.
"New data makes clear that burning even the coal, oil and gas that is currently being extracted will push us past our international climate requirements," Holtzman said.
"We simply must start leaving fossil fuels in the ground—and San Francisco is putting our money where our mouth is. Renewable energy is the future and the city will make more money from it as well. Other cities around California and the nation would do well to follow San Francisco's example."
As requested by Alfred Fuhrman's estate, which bequeathed the property to the city in 1941, revenues from the Kern County property are evenly split between the San Francisco Public Library and Golden Gate Park. City officials will soon begin the process of converting the property from an oilfield to a solar array as the city's lease to Chevron ends in 2020. The plan includes "just transition" language, which will minimize any potential job losses or impacts to employees in the region.
"We must keep fossil fuels in the ground to avoid catastrophe," said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney with the Center's Climate Law Institute. "Oil industry practices in Kern County have been linked to groundwater contamination, earthquakes and health problems for nearby residents. This action is a victory for environmental justice today and climate action in the long run."
Kern County oil producers have made extensive use of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, an environmentally damaging process that has helped make California the country's third-biggest oil-producing state. They also operate wastewater injection wells that have been linked to earthquakes and aquifer contamination.
Deadliest Earthquake in Southern California History Linked to Oil Drilling https://t.co/JaAmNWWdyV @foeeurope @globalactplan— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1478078115.0
"San Francisco takes an essential step to protect the health of Kern County residents and our climate with this ordinance," said Madeline Stano, an attorney with Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment.
"Oil production produces tremendous air pollution and water pollution that severely threatens the health and well-being of residents living, working and attending school nearby. This ordinance moves California's transition away from fossil fuels to safer energy production forward."
With Tuesday's vote San Francisco becomes a leader of the growing national "Keep It in the Ground" movement, which has been calling for an end to new fossil fuel leasing on public land and waters to help keep global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius, as nations agreed to in Paris last year. A study released last year by the Center for Biological Diversity and EcoShift Consulting found current federal oil leases will last through 2055 and that halting new fossil fuel leases on federal land and waters would prevent the release of up to 450 billion tons of carbon pollution, the equivalent of running 118,000 coal-fired power plants for a year.
"The Sierra Club applauds San Francisco for once again leading the country in the fight to protect our clean air and water from fossil fuel operations," said Lena Moffitt, director of Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign. "It is especially heartening to see the city set a transition plan to ensure our workers are looked out for—we cannot complete the transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy without them."
By Daisy Simmons
1. Stay Informed<p>A first order of business in pet evacuation planning is to understand and be ready for the possible threats in your area. Visit <a href="https://www.ready.gov/be-informed" target="_blank">Ready.gov</a> to learn more about preparing for potential disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Then pay attention to related updates by tuning <a href="http://www.weather.gov/nwr/" target="_blank">NOAA Weather Radio</a> to your local emergency station or using the <a href="https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app" target="_blank">FEMA app</a> to get National Weather Service alerts.</p>
2. Ensure Your Pet is Easily Identifiable<p><span>Household pets, including indoor cats, should wear collars with ID tags that have your mobile phone number. </span><a href="https://www.avma.org/microchipping-animals-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Microchipping</a><span> your pets will also improve your chances of reunion should you become separated. Be sure to add an emergency contact for friends or relatives outside your immediate area.</span></p><p>Additionally, use <a href="https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">'animals inside' door/window stickers</a> to show rescue workers how many pets live there. (If you evacuate with your pets, quickly write "Evacuated" on the sticker so first responders don't waste time searching for them.)</p>
3. Make a Pet Evacuation Plan<p> "No family disaster plan is complete without including your pets and all of your animals," says veterinarian Heather Case in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NRJkFKAm4" target="_blank">a video</a> produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association.</p><p>It's important to determine where to take your pet in the event of an emergency.</p><p>Red Cross shelters and many other emergency shelters allow only service animals. Ask your vet, local animal shelters, and emergency management officials for information on local and regional animal sheltering options.</p><p>For those with access to the rare shelter that allows pets, CDC offers <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/emergencies/pets-in-evacuation-centers.html" target="_blank">tips on what to expect</a> there, including potential health risks and hygiene best practices.</p><p>Beyond that, talk with family or friends outside the evacuation area about potentially hosting you and/or your pet if you're comfortable doing so. Search for pet-friendly hotel or boarding options along key evacuation routes.</p><p>If you have exotic pets or a mix of large and small animals, you may need to identify multiple locations to shelter them.</p><p>For other household pets like hamsters, snakes, and fish, the SPCA recommends that if they normally live in a cage, they should be transported in that cage. If the enclosure is too big to transport, however, transfer them to a smaller container temporarily. (More on that <a href="https://www.spcai.org/take-action/emergency-preparedness/evacuation-how-to-be-pet-prepared" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.)</p><p>For any pet, a key step is to establish who in your household will be the point person for gathering up pets and bringing their supplies. Keep in mind that you may not be home when disaster strikes, so come up with a Plan B. For example, you might form a buddy system with neighbors with pets, or coordinate with a trusted pet sitter.</p>
4. Prepare a Pet Evacuation Kit<p>Like the emergency preparedness kit you'd prepare for humans, assemble basic survival items for your pets in a sturdy, easy-to-grab container. Items should include:</p><ul><li>Water, food, and medicine to last a week or two;</li><li>Water, food bowls, and a can opener if packing wet food;</li><li>Litter supplies for cats (a shoebox lined with a plastic bag and litter may work);</li><li>Leashes, harnesses, or vehicle restraints if applicable;</li><li>A <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/pet-first-aid-supplies-checklist" target="_blank">pet first aid kit</a>;</li><li>A sturdy carrier or crate for each cat or dog. In addition to easing transport, these may serve as your pet's most familiar or safe space in an unfamiliar environment;</li><li>A favorite toy and/or blanket;</li><li>If your pet is prone to anxiety or stress, the American Kennel Club suggests adding <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stress-relieving items</a> like an anxiety vest or calming sprays.</li></ul><p>In the not-unlikely event that you and your pet have to shelter in different places, your kit should also include:</p><ul><li>Detailed information including contact information for you, your vet, and other emergency contacts;</li><li>A list with phone numbers and addresses of potential destinations, including pet-friendly hotels and emergency boarding facilities near your planned evacuation routes, plus friends or relatives in other areas who might be willing to host you or your pet;</li><li>Medical information including vaccine records and a current rabies vaccination tag;</li><li>Feeding notes including portions and sizes in case you need to leave your pet in someone else's care;</li><li>A photo of you and your pet for identification purposes.</li></ul>
5. Be Ready to Evacuate at Any Time<p>It's always wise to be prepared, but stay especially vigilant in high-risk periods during fire or hurricane season. Practice evacuating at different times of day. Make sure your grab-and-go kit is up to date and in a convenient location, and keep leashes and carriers by the exit door. You might even stow a thick pillowcase under your bed for middle-of-the-night, dash-out emergencies when you don't have time to coax an anxious pet into a carrier. If forecasters warn of potential wildfire, a hurricane, or other dangerous conditions, bring outdoor pets inside so you can keep a close eye on them.</p><p>As with any emergency, the key is to be prepared. As the American Kennel Club points out, "If you panic, it will agitate your dog. Therefore, <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pet disaster preparedness</a> will not only reduce your anxiety but will help reduce your pet's anxiety too."</p>
Evacuating Horses and Other Farm Animals<p>The same basic principles apply for evacuating horses and most other livestock. Provide each with some form of identification. Ensure that adequate food, water, and medicine are available. And develop a clear plan on where to go and how to get there.</p><p>Sheltering and transporting farm animals requires careful coordination, from identifying potential shelter space at fairgrounds, racetracks, or pastures, to ensuring enough space is available in vehicles and trailers – not to mention handlers and drivers on hand to support the effort.</p><p>For most farm animals, the Red Cross advises that you consider precautionary evacuation when a threat seems imminent but evacuation orders haven't yet been announced. The American Veterinary Medical Association has <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/large-animals-and-livestock-disasters" target="_blank">more information</a>.</p>
Bottom Line: If You Need to Evacuate, So Do Your Pets<p>As the Humane Society warns, pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed. Plan ahead to make sure you can safely evacuate your entire household – furry members included.</p>
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