Labor and environmental justice advocates urge California government to end oil and gas drilling near communities

Sacramento, Calif. (August 25, 2022)–Former AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gabre, alongside environmental justice leader and executive director of the Central California Environmental Justice Network Nayamin Martinez, sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature urging them to adopt Governor Newsom’s proposal to protect communities from oil and gas pollution. The measure would protect frontline communities, public health and workers at the same time by establishing a safe distance between oil and gas extraction and homes, schools and hospitals.

The letter called on California leaders to embrace the measure and reject industry misconceptions that climate and public health action oppose workers’ rights. Instead, they point out that California communities are disproportionately impacted by economic transition and toxic pollution, and that the legislature and governor must urgently address the intersectional crises of the climate crisis and the crisis. public health risks caused by fossil fuel drilling.

The measure was included in the Five climate pillars which Governor Newsom introduced to the California Legislature on August 12.

Tefere Gebre, longtime labor and immigrant rights activist and current Greenpeace USA program manager, said: “We know we cannot thrive on a dead planet. Yet the voices of the fossil fuel industry repeatedly use baseless claims about job destruction to scare lawmakers in an effort to preserve their profits, knowing that setbacks can simultaneously protect public health, communities and workers.

Gebre continued: “As an immigrant and refugee, I have first-hand experience of living in communities that are disproportionately affected by economic transition and toxic pollution. These communities – primarily Black, Latinx, immigrant and Indigenous communities – are on the frontlines of the climate catastrophe we have and continue to create on our planet. We all have a moral responsibility to partner with affected communities to create new and fresh approaches to the challenges we face today.

Nayamin Martinex, executive director of the Central California Environmental Justice Network and longtime public health leader, said: “Environmental justice communities have been asking for setbacks for years because we know firsthand the consequences of living near oil and gas extraction sites.The millions of Californians who live within the proposed 3,200ft setback zone, some with oil and gas derricks on their own fences, will be watching the legislature closely and calling on them to support the governor’s proposal to see who really supports justice. environment in California. , and who will sell our health to Big Oil.

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Contact: Katie Nelson, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA, [email protected]+1 (678) 644-1681

Greenpeace United States is part of a global network of independent campaign organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental issues and promote solutions essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace USA is committed to fundamentally transforming the nation’s unjust social, environmental, and economic systems to address the climate crisis, advance racial justice, and build an economy that puts people first. Learn more about www.greenpeace.org/usa.

Bernard P. Love