Wow! CA Gov. Brown allowed fracking waste to be illegally injected into protected aquifers

CREDO action
Tell California Gov. Brown to ban fracking

Tell California Governor Brown:
"You want to be a leader on climate and the environment, but real leaders don't let oil companies illegally inject fracking wastewater into federally protected aquifers used for drinking water and irrigation. Immediately halt all illegal oil and gas injection wells and ban fracking. People everywhere are watching what you do next."

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Dear 5849376,

Last year, New York Governor Cuomo set the new national standard for protecting Americans from fracking by banning it, raising hopes of more fracking bans in other states. But without nationwide pressure, California Governor Brown could take the fight against fracking a huge step back.

He's been digging in on his support of fracking – but now it looks like he may have gone too far.

An EPA investigation recently revealed that California regulators have handed out over 2,500 permits to illegally inject oilfield waste and other fluids into federally-protected aquifers – many of which are used for drinking water and irrigation.1

Given California's major drought, this is inexcusable. Governor Brown wants to be seen as a global leader on climate and the environment, so he'll be sensitive to progressives across the country calling out the hypocrisy of letting Big Oil run wild in his state.

Tell Governor Brown: Shut down all illegal oil and gas injection wells, and ban fracking. Click here to sign the petition.

California is the third-largest oil producing state in the country, and its environmental policies are often replicated nationally and in other states, so we can't afford to lose this fight if we want to ban fracking everywhere.

On top of the illegal injection wells, state regulators recently discovered hundreds of unlined, toxic wastewater ponds operating without permits in California's largest oil-producing county.2

Governor Brown not only knew about this – he encouraged it. Since 2011 Governor Brown received repeated warnings from the EPA that his administration wasn't doing enough to protect groundwater from oil waste injection wells.

The problem goes back decades, but nearly half of the injections have taken place or been permitted by Governor Brown. In 2011, he even fired the state's top two oil regulators after the oil industry executives complained that mandated state environmental reviews were slowing down oil well drilling.

According to reporting by the Associated Press, shortly afterward in 2012, Governor Brown declared:

"The oil rigs are moving in Kern County. We want to use our resources... our sun and all the other sources of power. It's not going to be easy. There's going to be screw-ups. There's going to be bankruptcies. There'll be indictments, and there'll be deaths. But we're going to keep going. Nothing's going to stop us."3

There'll be deaths!?! Nothing's going to stop us!?! Really Governor Brown?

Tell Governor Brown: Shut down all illegal oil and gas injection wells, and ban fracking. Click here to sign the petition.

It is long past time for Governor Brown to turn the page from this stunningly dangerous and reckless approach.

Here's the reality: Governor Brown clearly supports fracking and has resisted our calls to ban it. But he is in his last term as governor, he will likely not run again for office, and he doesn't need to worry about pressure or future funding from the oil industry.

This damning scandal, however – and how he responds to it – will help define his legacy. Making sure he faces a massive, national outcry as this scandal unfolds is the best way we can make the case against fracking.

Tell Governor Brown: Shut down all illegal oil and gas injection wells, and ban fracking. Click here to sign the petition.

Thank you for fighting fracking.

Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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1. Mike Gaworecki, "California's Wastewater Injection Problem Is Way Worse Than Previously Reported," DeSmogBlog, February 11, 2015
2. Julie Cart, "Hundreds of illicit oil wastewater pits found in Kern County," LA Times, February 26, 2015
3. Ellen Knickmeyer, "California permitted oilfield discharge in protected water," Associated Press, February 6, 2015

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