Two Resolutions for Approval at March Meeting

RESOLUTION – MORATORIUM ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING

WHEREAS, hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” is a drilling technique that injects water, sand, and toxic chemicals at high pressure deep into the ground, often traveling horizontally, to extract oil or gas from shale or other dense rock;

WHEREAS, fracking uses large amounts of water, thus reducing its availability for agriculture and other public use; uses chemicals that can contaminate the water supply and can cause cancer; creates wastewater that can bring deep earth contaminants to the surface; releases methane gas that exacerbates climate change and pollutes the air with asthma-causing smog; can induce earthquakes; and continues our dependence on fossil fuels;

WHEREAS, fracking is currently exempt from regulation under the Safe Water Drinking Act and is not yet regulated in California, and as a result the chemicals are treated as trade secrets and location of fracked wells is not made public;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Lake San Marcos Democratic Club supports an immediate moratorium on fracking with such a moratorium to remain in place until (a) legislation, ordinances, and regulations are put in place that guarantee public health and safety, and address the impacts of climate change; (b) immediate testing and disclosure of all sites currently being fracked or that have been fracked in the past; and c) substitution of renewable energy wherever feasible;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Lake San Marcos Democratic Club send a copy of this resolution to California Democratic Party, requesting that they forward said resolution to the Governor of the State of California, United States Senators representing California, Members of Congress representing any part of San Diego County, members of the state senate and state assembly representing any part of San Diego County, and all members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, asking them to take action.

Background: Fracking, short for “hydraulic fracturing,” a technique for natural resource extraction, consists of mixing a lot of water with chemicals, injecting underground (often traveling several miles horizontally) at extremely high pressure to break up, or fracture, oil/gas-bearing rock so that the oil/gas flows back up to the surface, then disposing of the chemical-laced wastewater either above ground or injecting underground.

In other states, it’s associated with natural gas; in California, it’s used to extract oil. The state has an estimated 400 billion barrels of oil, of which it’s estimated that 15 billion barrels can be easily recovered using new fracking technology. This 15 billion barrels is four times as much as North Dakota’s Bakken formation. It is known that two of the 600 wells in Ventura County – 1 onshore and 1 offshore adjacent to the Channel Islands – have been fracked.

Land/water/air quality concerns with fracking: 
– it uses 1 to 7 million gallons of water per frack, and a well can be fracked up to 18 times 
– the industry claims that chemicals are trade secrets, and it’s exempt from the Clean Water Act (the “Halliburton loophole” in the 2005 Energy Policy Act). One estimate from publicly available material states that 34% of all fracking chemicals are cancer-causing.
 http://ecowatch.org/2013/cancer-causing-chemicals-fracking-operations/
 — underground injection of wastewater is linked with moderate earthquakes in Arkansas and Oklahoma; science of injecting wastewater in a seismically fragile state has not been studied
– fracking beds in rural areas have ozone levels higher than Los Angeles on a bad day
. Some of these can be addressed by strong regulation (the injected-water-causes-earthquakes problem probably can’t be regulated in a state with many, many unknown faults).

Impacts on climate and on California’s global warming law, AB32: 15 billion barrels of oil produces 6.45 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution. AB32 aims to cut California’s carbon pollution by 80 million tons/year; so fracking 6.45 billion tons is the equivalent of delaying AB32 by 80 years. California’s oil is dirty (sour), so fracked oil is likely to be transported to other states for refining. These climate impacts cannot be addressed by regulation of well casings, wastewater disposal, and the like.

 The Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity strongly favors this new black gold rush.

Current status of regulations and legislation: the state regulatory body, Department of Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), lost track of fracking a couple of years ago. It issued draft regulations in December that industry likes and environmentalists don’t. Gov. Brown wants to move quickly. About 10 bills to regulate fracking have been introduced, but none call for a moratorium or ban. Several cities within the state have moratoria.

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The second resolution relates to the Keystone Pipeline decision President Obama will be making some time in the next few months.  The San Diego Central Committee already approved this resolution.

RESOLUTION URGING PRESIDENT OBAMA TO REJECT THE TAR SANDS PIPELINE

WHEREAS, (1) The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will cross South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas; as well as the Ogallala Aquifer and the Athabasca River, which supply nearly one-third of our nation’s irrigation ground water and drinking water for millions of people; (2) 1,252 protesters supported by major environmental groups (NRDC, EDF, Sierra Club, NWF, Union of Concerned Scientists, 350.org, League of Conservation Voters) were arrested in front of the White House; and (3) nine Nobel Peace Laureates asked President Obama to “do the right thing for our environment” in rejecting this proposal;

WHEREAS, (1) the system has already spilled 12 times, releasing 30,000 gallons of crude oil: (2) a major leak could pollute these waterways, causing high rates of cancer in local communities; (3) “the tar sands are the dirtiest source of fuel on the planet (Al Gore);” (4) greenhouse gas emissions from tar-sands crude would be approximately 82% greater than for the average US crude; and (5) if the tar sands are fully developed, “it is essentially game over” for solving the climate crisis (James Hansen, our leading climate scientist); and

WHEREAS, (1) TransCanada stated that the project would increase the price of oil in the Midwest; (2) James Little, Transport Workers Union President, and Larry Hanley, Amalgamated Transit Union, President representing 300,000 US workers, issued a statement asking President Obama “NOT to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline or to take any actions that lead to the further extraction of tar sands oil from Alberta;” and (3) a recent Cornell University Global Labor Institute analysis found that the Keystone XL Pipeline may eliminate more jobs than it creates;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Lake San Marcos Democratic Club supports the San Diego County Central Committee’s resolution asking President Obama to help stabilize our planet’s climate, protect public health, and advance job creation in the new “green economy” by denying the “Presidential Permit” for the Keystone XL pipeline; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Lake San Marcos Democratic Club send a copy of this resolution to California Democratic Party, requesting they forward said resolution to the President of the United States, Governor of the State of California, California Congressional Caucus, California State Senate and State Assembly Members, and County Board of Supervisors, asking them to take action in support of this resolution.


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