By Ramona du Houx
“We have to act like our house is on fire because it is,” actress Jane Fonda said Friday, February 7, referencing climate activist Greta Thunberg, before a crowd of hundreds of protestors outside Los Angeles City Hall in the first Fire Drill Friday rally in California.
Fonda announced at her rally that Mayor Eric Garcetti, during on a phone conversation on February 5, agreed to the climate goals of the Last Chance Alliance, which happen to be the same goals of the Elected Officials to Protect California (EOPCA). Garcetti was also told there are over 300 CA elected officials that have signed a letter to Gov. Newson asking him to agree too.
Those goals are to:
▪ roll out a statewide 2,500-foot buffer around new oil and gas wells,
▪ commit to end permitting for fossil fuel projects and,
▪ phase out all oil production and follow a just transition to 100% clean, job-creating energy.
“You know what Mayor Garcetti said when I asked him if I could share the news?” asked Fonda addressing the crowd. “He said, ‘absolutely, absolutely.’”
Fonda then called on Governor Gavin Newsom to make the same promise.
On Valentine’s Day an EOPCA bipartisan group of mayors, county supervisors, and local elected officials will ask Governor Newsom to “show love for California” and enact a comprehensive Climate Emergency Plan to phase out the production and burning of oil and gas in California during their rally at the state Capitol, at 11am.
The EOPCA group will also deliver their letter to Governor Gavin Newsom which has been signed by more than 300 local elected officials from 49 counties, including 74 mayors. The letter urges the Governor to end permits for all new oil and gas drilling, enact 2,500 foot public health setbacks, and start a just transition to 100% clean, renewable energy in all sectors, now. The same promise Mayor Garcetti made.
Fossil fuel production drives the climate crisis and kills 12,000 Californians each year.
They will urge Governor Newsom to show his love for California by acting immediately to protect the state from the climate crisis and declare a Climate Emergency.
EOPCA considers Governor Newsom’s recent moratorium on new fracking permits and partial moratorium on steam-injection oil drilling and important first step. But emphasized it’s not enough.
“Every oil well that Governor Newsom approves deepens the public health and climate emergency that fossil fuels cause,” said Alex Cornell du Houx, speaking at an event in Sacramento, CA. Rep. Cornell du Houx is president of EOPCA. Here's the radio report from that CA state capital press event: Listen to "California Elected Officials Call on Governor to Phase out Fossil Fuel Production" on Spreaker.
Fires are only one sign of the growing devastation Californians are experiencing while the state fails to take emergency action. As the effects of the climate crisis mount, Californians will suffer more droughts, coastal erosion, and deadly heat waves. Extreme weather conditions will also overwhelm infrastructure and put countless lives at risk. The UN has stated we only have 10 years to transition to clean renewable energy to advert the extreme climate events from becoming the norm.
California’s Fire Drill Fridays will call for a Green New Deal, an end to new fossil fuels and a transition to a renewable energy economy, the group said in a news release.
Fonda has partnered with the Last Chance Alliance and Green Peace to protest the first Friday of every month throughout California and eventually other states.
“The science is clear — we need to stop burning fossil fuels and invest aggressively in a transition to clean, safe, renewable energy," Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard said in a written statement.
The next Fire Drill Fridays rally is scheduled to take place in Wilmington, California on March 7th.
Elected Officials to Protect CA, is part of the Elected Officials to Protect America network, sponsered by the Solon Center for Research and Publishing of Maine.