Newsflash:
Campaigns Stop Global Warming Gov. Jerry Brown heckled by protesters opposed to fracking
Monday, 10 March 2014 14:40

Gov. Jerry Brown heckled by protesters opposed to fracking

Written by  Carla Marinucci | SF Gate
Gov. Jerry Brown addresses the California Democratic Convention as opponents of hydraulic fracturing protest in Los Angeles. Gov. Jerry Brown addresses the California Democratic Convention as opponents of hydraulic fracturing protest in Los Angeles. Jonathan Alcorn, For The Chronicle

Gov. Jerry Brown faced protests at the state Democratic Party convention Saturday from crowds of progressives opposed to fracking, even as he attempted to make the case that California has led the country on climate change and renewable energy issues.

"The challenge facing California is not just drought today; it's climate change, now and forever," said Brown, as dozens of party activists holding "Another Democrat Against Fracking" signs rushed to the front of the hall and stood in their seats at the Los Angeles Convention Center, yelling their opposition to the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to expand natural gas production.

"California is the one state - the one state - that actually has a goal of reducing the consumption of oil, gas and coal and other fossil fuels," said Brown as calls of "No fracking!" erupted at him from the hall floor. "I challenge anybody to find another state that is on that path, a serious path."

State an energy leader
The state is a leader in renewable energy, energy efficient buildings and appliances, and as a consumer of electric cars, the governor said.

"Would it be that we could only do one thing to solve climate change. That is not the way it is," said Brown, who said the state must now expand technology and invest in "massive renewable energy, different kind of grids."

Brown, who late last year signed SB4, a bill that critics said opens the door to greatly expanded fracking, appealed to the sign-waving protesters. "We have to do it all and we can't just have it limited to one thing," he said. "We have to do the whole story."

Through it all, Brown himself appeared unruffled by the hecklers, telling them at one point, "I got it."

'Keep protesting'
And as he left the stage, the governor told them, "Keep protesting," even stopping to shake some of the protesters' hands.

But Brown's position on fracking was directly challenged by Tom Steyer, a billionaire climate change activist who said any discussion on fracking "should not even take place" until big oil and energy interests "are paying their fair share - and have demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that (fracking) can be done safely."

Steyer, whose support of a ballot measure for an oil extraction tax has been criticized by Brown, told the convention crowd it was time to "level the playing field" between local communities and big business in California. The activist said that, just as a two-thirds vote is required by the Legislature to pass new taxes, it should be required at the county level "as a requirement for the approval of fracking."

That would "empower local communities to secure the safety and health provisions their people deserve; it will give communities the right to determine whether fracking really is in their interest; and it will give the people the same two-thirds protections that businesses currently enjoy" in the passage of new taxes, he said. Keynote disrupted The lively scene took place during the governor's keynote at the three-day state Democratic convention, an event that drew 3,000 delegates and party activists to plan strategy and seek endorsements for the 2014 midterm elections. Throughout the day, party members heard not only from Brown, 75, but also from a crowd of Democrats running for statewide offices - or perhaps eyeing a future run. They were also given a glimpse of what's to come from two leading California Democrats widely expected to seek higher office in 2018. Both Attorney General Kamala Harris - who strongly pitched women voters on her leadership in the area of human trafficking - and Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom - who threw a glitzy party to remind LGBT Democrats of his key role in advancing the issue of same-sex marriage - worked the convention caucuses.

And Steyer, viewed as a potential California Democratic candidate in the future, drew plenty of delegate cheers for his remarks.

Impassioned response
But it was Brown's speech that drew the most impassioned response from delegates. Many said they supported the governor on his aggressive climate change agenda that includes high-speed rail - but hoped to change his mind on fracking.

"His speech was great. He did a good job and on climate issues and environment, he actually said the right things," said Oakland Councilman Dan Kalb, who wore a large anti-fracking sticker on his suit coat.

But "on fracking, he needs to move in a different direction," said Kalb. The councilman said he is encouraged there is a growing coalition of officials around the state now pushing for a fracking ban.

Push to ban fracking
"The momentum has changed dramatically from the past year and a half on fracking, and they're going to have to do something a little differently in Sacramento," Kalb said. "It will happen over time."

Harris told Democrats that in 2014, they must be ready to fight on all fronts to counter what she called a Republican "coordinated attack on our middle class, on our working men and women," and on public employee unions like nurses, teachers and firefighters.

"Let's wake up our neighbors, our families and our communities, because we know so goes California, so goes the rest of the nation," she said.

Link to original article from SFGate

Read 5120 times

Join our Twitter Storm

If you have a Twitter account you can help stop Fast Track on the TPP. Sign-in to your Twitter account and copy and paste the Tweets from our Twitter storm. Or you can copy your favorite Tweet and then click on the map and Tweet your legislator.

Twitter Storm Tweets for Tuesday, January 28th @ 9pm Eastern

Tweets for the special State of the Union Twitter Storm will be posted on January 28th at 8pm EST. Check back for the new Tweets.

Find Your Member of Congress

Click here to quickly find your member of Congress by putting in your home address. This site also features a one-click link to the same information in Spanish

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

Then call and ask them to oppose Fast Track on the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Sample script is below.

Script

“I'm a constituent, and I am strongly opposed to my representative giving away Congress’ constitutional authority to control our trade policy. We send people to Congress to stand up for us, not give away their power to stop more American job offshoring and protect us from dangerous imported food that doesn’t meet our safety standards. This latest so-called trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), would not only do that - but also ban Buy American and increase our medicine prices. That’s why it’s crucial that Congress not give away its authority to make sure every provision of TPP is in our interest before this massive deal can be signed. Good trade deals don’t need to be railroaded through Congress using Fast Track. I hope my representative will commit to opposing this outrageous legislation.”

Email Your Senators and Rep - Say No On Fast Track and TPP

Send an email directly to your Senators and Representatives courtesy of our partners at CWA. Enter your zip code and your members are automatically selected.

Button-EmailYourRep2

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of

Flush the TPP

Congress only has one more week in session this year, the week of December 9. So far our pressure to stop the TPP has been working. Visit Flush the TPP for calling scripts and links to Members of the Ways and Means Committee.

Flush the TPP