California oil well

Dreamstime/Mike Brake

Calls Grow Louder For Gov. Brown To End Oil And Gas Drilling

Carrie Hodousek
August 22, 2018 - 10:38 am

OAKLAND (KCBS Radio) —Elected officials from Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond urged Gov. Jery Brown to end oil and gas drilling in California as worries mount about pollution and public health. 

"We are here to say no to gas drilling, no to fracking and no to fossil fuels," said Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who is a member of the group Elected Officials to Protect California. "This never ending growing of more burning, of more fossil fuels, of more drilling, of more fracking, adds up to cancer, adds up to asthma, adds up to real suffering of real people," said Kaplan outside Oakland's city hall. 

"We need to be a leader in solar power, and hydrogen fuel cells, and electric vehicles, and bicycling and walking. That's the kind of leadership we need to show," said Kaplan. 

The officials called on Brown to announce a ban before next month's Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. 

The group also questioned the number of drilling permits issued by the state."In 2015 alone, California oil regulators issued 3,303 drilling permits for oil and gas wells," said Richmond City Council member Jovanka Beckels. 

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín said Brown should commit the state to using only renewable energy.

"This is not just a climate issue, this is an environmental justice issue, this is a public health issue, this is a social justice issue," Arreguin said.

Brown's spokesman said in a statement that the state is committed to cutting oil consumption in half. 

An advocate for the energy industry claimed that ending oil and gas drilling would not help the state achieve its climate goals any faster. 

California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman claimed that cutting production inside California would simply lead to increased oil imports from regions with looser environmental protections.

His group represents roughly 500 independent crude oil and natural gas producers and suppliers. 

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Written by Diana Shook