SB1132 fate and Got Water?

Finished this newsletter around 4 p.m. but decided to wait until after I got off of a conference call with the California Against Fracking coalition to find out the results of SB 1132 so I could post it.  It failed.A couple of theabstentions apparently would have won it for us but that’s politics for you. It certainly was not from a lack of effort by dedicated committed people fighting the good fight for all the right reason but rather the result of a system of undue influence that has so corrupted the process as to render it unreliable and undoable for all intent and purposes.
It would behoove us now to redouble our efforts and resolve to protecting ourselves and our future with a countywide ban on fracking. The oil industry spent $15,000,000 lobbying the State Legislature to defeat this bill.  And it worked because legislators are beholding to money to get themselves re elected. It won’t work here because we are not beholding to anyone. We, the voters, own this cause and we can’t be brought.
So here are the results then we get on with the business at hand.
 
SB-1132 Oil and gas: well stimulation treatments.

05/28/14 (FAIL) Senate Floor 18 16 6 Senate 3rd Reading SB1132 Mitchell
Ayes: Beall, Block, Corbett, De León, DeSaulnier, Evans, Hancock, Hill, Jackson, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Mitchell, Monning, Padilla, Pavley, Steinberg, Wolk
Noes: Anderson, Berryhill, Cannella, Correa, Fuller, Gaines, Galgiani, Hernandez, Huff, Knight, Morrell, Nielsen, Torres, Vidak, Walters, Wyland
No Votes Recorded: Calderon, Hueso, Lara, Roth, Wright, Yee


First:  What’s happening in our own backyard
. Second what’s happening in backyards across the State that will impact our backyard and Lastly, bringing it home again.

 

First

Alan Hayashi watches as workers load boxes of cabbages onto the truck for shipping at his farm on in Arroyo Grande, Calif., May 8, 2014. Hayashi said he was surprised to learn that state records showed the farm had used 875,000 acre-feet of water in 2010 to irrigate its vegetable farm, more than 10 times what San Francisco consumes in a year. “That’s a huge crazy number,” Hayashi said. In reality, he said, they only used about 550 acre-feet. (Jae C. Hong/AP)
The question being asked also at this time is where does Freeport McMoRan, Price canyon operator, get its water for drilling? It used 6.5 million barrels (42 gallons per barrel) of water in 2012 for its steam injection drilling of 120 plus wells. No one seems to know exactly where they are getting their water.  Just wondering if there is a connection here. How much water would an additional 350 wells take and where would that water come from? If fracking goes forward,  FYI,  it takes 100 times more water than ‘conventional drilling’.  Reason enough to ban it?  Wastes water we don’t.

FYI: Recommendation in response to our request to the Board to join us in adopting a countywide ban on fracking was for staff to contact the Water Resources Advisory Committee, WRAC.   This is from a member of WRAC.
As a member of the Water Resources Advisory Committee, they [BOS] already punted us the fracking football last year, and nothing happened, because DOGGR didn’t want to meet with us.

Still not exactly sure what Mr. Gibson was asking the committee to do.  Just questioning relevance here since we already know that nothing happened the last time this request was put to the committee. And certainly not for lack of trying on the part of WRAC. They did everything they could.    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein. The flip side of this is keep doing it because you do know what the results will be. Again, What exactly was Mr. Gibson asking the Committee to do?

Also, WRAC does not generally meet in July and August.  http://www.slocountywater.org/site/Water%20Resources/Advisory%20Committee/#meeting  So, a couple of months as estimated for a response seems very optimistic.

And what is it that he is asking the Planning Dept to do?  We already know that drilling is allowed and fracking is legal,by default, so what new information can the Planning Dept recommend to the Board in response to our asking the Board for a vote of assurance that they share our vision of a safe, healthy, livable and prosperous community?

Easy agenda item.
Agenda Item #:  Response to the 4,000 petitioners and community members calling for a countywide ban on fracking. Discussion by the Board, it goes to public comment on the agenda, then it  goes to a vote.  Those in favor of a ban say Aye those opposed say Nay. Easy enough. Done deal.  I think the community is entitled to know and as a matter of the public record, exactly where their representative stands on the issue of fracking.

Second. Across the State.

A license to Frack.

http://act.350.org/sign/KernCounty/

Map of crude by rail accidents

http://priceofoil.org/rail/

ForestWatch Halts Three Fracking Operations in Sespe Watershed

http://lpfw.org/fracking-halted/

Pretty much everything that is going on across the state. Facts are facts and it is very informative.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/24/1301783/-The-California-Frack-Wars-Episode-V-The-Industry-Strikes-Back?detail=hide#

And then this little bit of news

Fracking in California’s Monterey Shale will recover 96 percent less oil than thought

“A blow to the nation’s oil future” as federal officials slash previous estimates

http://www.salon.com/2014/05/21/fracking_in_californias_monterey_shale_will_recover_96_percent_less_oil_than_thought/

Wonder what that does to the $6 billion lawsuit against the county?
And lastly, bringing it home.
MONEY IN POLITICS: WHAT COULD GO WRONG? EVENT AT SPANOSdahbehdeTrevor Potter, former chairman of the FEC, helped television’s
StephenColbert set up his Colbert-PAC (and, later superPAC)
live on The Colbert Report, with some shocking revelations.
Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig is a well-known author and
founder of 
Rootstrikers.org with the goal of changing money’s
polluting role in politics.
  Hedrick Smith is a Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent and author
whose new book, 
Who Stole the American Dream?, is described
by reviewers as: 

  “…full of surprises and revelations …filled with the penetrating insights,
provocative discoveries, and the great empathy of a master journalist. 


William Ostrander, is an actor, farmer, developer, and local leader of
this event and of 
citizenscongress2014.org.
Cal Poly’s 
Spanos Theater is behind the PAC on the Cal Poly campus.
        For more information, go to citizenscongress2014.org

 

Free screening of Gasland II on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 490 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos. There will be a potluck dinner at 5:30pm, then showing the film at 6:30pm.  http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/about-the-film
Students: Making plans.  They get it!  We get it!  Got to love it.

Donations: Thank you everyone. We aren’t quite to our goal yet but getting there. Suggestion did come in though that rather than 70,000 $1 donations how about 69 $1,000? Who can argue with a suggestion like that?

 

 

 

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SLO Board of Supervisors issues a gag order on fracking opponents.

BOS meeting 05-20-14Tuesday, May 20, 2014,  San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Meeting.

Anxiously and proudly the Students against Fracking, Cuesta and Poly coalition, attended their first Board of Supervisors meeting in the middle of mid terms and finals, to deliver 750 signatures calling for a countywide ban on Fracking and about 20 other persons from all over the county and local grassroots organization SLO Clean Water Action using the public form to deliver 3500 plus signatures collected from county residents and farmers,  people across the State and around the world, calling on the BOS to adopt a countywide ban on Fracking.

I was one of the persons representing local grassroots organization SLOCWA standing with the Students against Fracking.  Bruce Gibson, Chairman of the Board, during a recess approached me.  Why me in particular?   I do not know.  He announced that too many people signed up to speak. I didn’t know what that meant.  Did not know there was a limited number of people allowed to speak in the public comment segment. It’s not posted anywhere.  Gibson further announced to me that only 4 people could speak and time is limited to 3 minutes each. I knew about the 3 minutes. I was hearing limited to 4 speakers for the first time. I was stunned to learn this just minutes before we were due to make our presentation.
Again, why was  he giving me this information and not the entire audience?

Coming from the Chairman of the Board I trusted  this change was something of an  official nature and compliance was the only option. There were more than 4 people who had signed up to speak.  I was sure of that. I had no idea what was regarded as “too many.” I begged for more time. I begged that everyone be allowed to speak.  He was insistent, “No”, he repeated.   5 people I begged. 15 minutes I begged.  My hands grasping his in desperation. Please, I pleaded. Reluctantly he nodded and agreed. I thanked him.

I Begged. I  thanked him.  Not a proud moment.

I only know Mr. Gibson as an official.  When he approached us I assumed it was official business and from the request forms we filled out he knew why we were there.  Also, we were all wearing tee shirts espousing to a countywide ban on Fracking.  There were other green tee shirts in the audience and I wondered if they were  presented with the same directive from Mr. Gibson?   And what about all the people who had filled out speaker slips?  Were they all being informed of this sudden change  that only 5 people total were going to be allowed  to speak?

Public comment is an agenda item.  Addition, subtraction, corrections to an agenda item must come in the form of an addendum which must appear with the agenda.  This is how Item # 19 on May 20th appeared on the agenda.

19. The general public comment period is intended to provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the Board on matters within the Board’s purview that are not scheduled on the current agenda. Individuals interested in speaking are asked to fill out a “Board Appearance Request Form” and submit it to the Clerk of the Board prior to the start of general public comment. When recognized by the Chair, each individual speaker may address the Board and is limited to a MAXIMUM of three (3) minutes or a reasonable period of time as determined by the Board Chairperson.

There was no addendum to this Item.

THE BOARD APPEARANCE REQUEST FORM Reads:

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Welcomes Your Comments

In the interest of time, a MAXIMUM of three (3) minutes will be reserved for your presentation. Please submit this completed form to the Clerk of the Board prior to the item.

It is requested that you remove your hat in the Board Chambers. please remember to turn off your cell phone while in the board Chambers.

Public Comment remarks should be directed to the Chairman and the Board as a whole and not to any individual thereof. No person will be permitted to make slanderous, profane or personal remarks against any individual.

NAME:

AGENDA ITEM:  #19

ISSUE:  Fracking

SIGNATURE:                                                                                           DATE:

— OPTIONAL —

May we have your phone number and/or email in case we have follow up questions?

Please note: This is public information and may be disclosed upon request.

 

Telling us only moments before we were prepared  to make our presentations that a total of  5 speakers were allowed to speak on this agenda item is an addition to item #19. Clearly an addendum was in order. No addendum was posted.

 

When the meeting resumed,  agenda item #19, public comment was introduced,  Mr. Gibson, rather than calling names from the submitted slips as was the usual procedure, he unexpectedly announced that five unidentified speakers will  come forward, state their names  and time starts ticking.  This was unprecedented. A point of order was in order. Where was county council?  Where were the other Board members?

The Supervisors must have known that their constituents from their districts  there to speak had  just been indiscriminately culled by the Chairman of the Board.  Every supervisor must have known that every person who filled out a request to speak form and will not be called,  was served a gag order by the Chair. They had to know this. It is their job to know these things. It is county councils job to know these things and insure proper legal procedure is adhered to. Not a peep from anyone.

The Chairman speaks for all the members. So unless a supervisor objects, county council or Clerk of the Board calls for a point of order to what the Chairman is doing, it is assumed that it meets with their approval. Silence is consent.

We have to trust at this point that what is about to happen is legal and proper.  Since  those put in charge of making and enforcing the law are allowing this to proceed, then it must be legal with consent and with knowledge.

So here is how it all went down. When Mr. Gibson, who had approached us just moments before, looked in our direction and said “speakers step forward” we assumed this was our cue to do what he instructed us to do.

Heidi Harmon opened the comments, followed by 3 students, David Kooi, Cuesta, Andi Fieber and Lucas Carlow, Cal Poly,  spoke elegantly expressing their concerns about their future and the future of our environment while  delivering 750 + signatures from students calling for a ban. I closed by delivering petitions from local farmers and residents, petitions signed by people from across the State and around the world.  Official letters from the Board’s peers, the San Luis Obispo City Council and the Arroyo Grande City Council, calling on the Board of Supervisors to join us in adopting a countywide ban on fracking insuring our health, safety and well-being.  I included a draft response  to our request for their consideration in the interest of saving staff time which always seems a reason  to delay action.

I had tied the petitions up in a gold bow and as I left the podium to deliver it to the Clerk of the Board across the room, when I hit the center of the room,  I turned to the audience and rather triumphantly waved the petitions in the air. The entire room waved back. We are not allowed to clap or make noises in chambers. Raised hands is accepted protocol to show approval. Every hand I could see was raised to the rafters.

Four other people did come to the podium. I honestly do not recall  their names being called.  But if they were, how did that happen? We were told there was only time for 5 speakers.

At the end of ‘public comment’ Mr. Gibson instructed staff to alert Water Resources Board and the Planning Dept. to look into the fracking issue.  I do not think anyone knew what it was he was instructing them to do or how that was going to qualify as a response to join us in adopting a countywide ban on fracking.  Nonetheless, everyone on the board nodded in agreement to Gibson’s instructions. No one objected. Silence is consent.

Gibson estimated that it would probably be several months before anything will get on the agenda.

I don’t think the Board gets it.  I don’t think they were listening. It was like they had their own private agenda they were carrying out independent of what was taking place at the meeting.   Calling on the Water Resources and the Planning Dept was a totally inappropriate response to, ‘will you join us in adopting a countywide ban on fracking?’

I don’t think they got the message that we are TELLING  them we do not want fracking in this county.  And what we were asking from them was a vote to assure us that they  share our vision of a safe, healthy, happy, livable and prosperous future.

Or, maybe they did hear us.  Maybe they did know exactly what we were saying  and they did respond. They responded with a lie. They told us we cannot speak.  They told us they do not want to hear what we want. They told us they do not care.  And how ironic is that?  That is exactly the same message the oil industry has been sending to every community across this land.  We can lie and we don’t care.

I want to thank the Board.  Now, we get it. We get that you don’t care and you can’t be trusted.  And now it is our turn to respond in kind.  We do care. A lot.  And we will make lying, cheating and the stealing  of our natural resources and quality of life a crime in this county.  We will not be silenced. We will prevail.

JEANNE BLACKWELL

 

BOS meeting 05-20-14

 

 

May 20 Board of Supervisors Meeting calling for a Ban on Fracking

Will put these announcements in the order they happen Starting with

1. Saturday May 17 Avila Beach

Inline image 1

HANDS ACROSS THE SAND
Avila pier noon, Saturday, may 17
Stretch Your Hands Across the Sand, say NO to the Keystone Pipeline and YES to clean energy!
Hands Across The Sand is an worldwide gathering of people dedicated to a clean energy future and ending our dependence on filthy fuels.
Come join hands with people around the globe at noon local time to reject dirty fuel projects that threaten our communities and destabilize our climate.
Hands Across the Sand will join with rallies, marches and vigils taking place across the nation on May 17, calling on the president and state and local leaders to reject the Keytstone XL pipeline and accelerate the shift to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Whether it’s offshore seismic blasting, Arctic and offshore drilling, mountaintop removal coal mining, tar sands pipelines, fracking, exporting liquid natural gas, or shipping crude by rail through our
hometowns, we all have reason to stand up and join hands for the health of our families, and the health of the planet.
Come to the beach at the Avila Pier at noon on May 17 as we take a stand for a fossil fuel-free future!
Get updates at handsacrossthesand.org
11:00 a.m.: Sign-ups and gathering 11:30 a.m.: Guest speakers Noon: Hands Across the Sand
I remember doing Hands Across America in Anaheim about 30 years ago.
Collecting signatures to ban fracking in SLO county. Will have extra clip boards 🙂
2. Sunday May 18 – 2 events
a) Fund-and-awareness raiser at the Palm Theater for the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary high noon. Showing of Rebel with a Cause. $10 donation but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  The Chumash Heritage Marine Sanctuary event begins at 12:30 at the Palm Theater  Here’s the trailer.http://rebelsdocumentary.org/This is  another signature gathering moment.

 
b) Chalk-a-walk at Cal Poly hosted by the Students against Fracking joint efforts with Cuesta Students Against Fracking who will all be presenting their petitions before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday May 20th @ 9:00 a.m.  Chalk-a-walk is a message alerting stencil that is spray chalked on pavement. It’s kind of a new idea and we are a kick off event for an up and coming Citizens Engagement Lab that films and documents communities stories and then posts these stories on the internet. CEL is a home for people and projects working to shift culture and transform society. We are shifting into high gear.  They support, start, and connect individuals and organizations that use technology-fueled approaches to close the gap between the world we live in and the more just and equal world most of us want.
We lucked out. Community action group SLOCWA working to Keep Fracking out of SLO connected with Students Against Fracking at Cuesta and Poly and drum roll please, taking this show to the BOS of supervisors on May 20 and CEL is going to document it. Cool.  Chalking the sidewalks is like being able to write on the walls and not get in trouble for it. So, if anyone wants to get in on this action, Really cool if alumni could extend a helping hand, just for fun 4pm Sunday Dexter Lawn Cal Poly parking is free.  Here’s a couple of Stencils we will be chalking.
Inline image 3.Inline image 1Inline image 4Addiction, earthquakes, hazardous chemicals, sick kids, air and water pollution, noise
3.  Tuesday May 20 9:00 a.m.
Board of Supervisors meeting to deliver petitions to call for a countywide Ban on Fracking
Well this is it. Have about 3,500 signatures. Will send out press releases and you just never know what will happen with that.   If you can’t make it, haven’t signed the petition, or even if you have, drop the Board a line and let them know what you your organization think of fracking in our neighborhood, respectfully of course.

District 1

District 2

District 3

District 4

District 5

Frank R. Mecham

Bruce S. Gibson
Chair

Adam Hill

Caren Ray

Debbie Arnold

 

 Everybody is invited to say a few words or use the whole 3 minutes.   The more speakers the better.  Come on down! 10 people that speak make more noise than 10,000 that are silent.

Then I was wondering about how a group could sign onto the SLO ban.  Group can email the Board and bcc SLO Clean Water Action if you would. Love to see who is taking a stand.
 

Have asked Senator Monning on behalf of all the residents who will be adversely impacted by extreme oil drilling (everybody)  to write a letter to the Board of Supervisors in support of our efforts to bar the hazardous process from SLO County. Have not heard anything back yet. Perhaps a reminder from some of his constituents would be helpful. A letter to the Board from Senator Monning supporting constituents efforts to maintain and sustain a  safe, healthy, prosperous and livable community would be a nice gesture.
http://sd17.senate.ca.gov/send-e-mail
And finally one quick note on the Paso Robles City Council meeting.

Suffice to say Paso declined to participate. I was warned that that might be the case however in the interest of fairness I just thought they needed the same opportunity to participate as everyone else.  They have their reasons and that is fine. Enough said.

 

Keep cool.
Always,

 jeanne

Fracking Bans on the Rise

Does this look at all familiar? It should.  The names may be different but this is almost text book SLO action. And look what it got them? We are on the right track folks. No two ways about it. The Small Town that Changed the Fracking Game

 

Beverly Hills has a ban, Carson just voted to lift their moratorium and Hermosa Beach is considering lifting their ban on oil and gas drilling.  Many communities in California — including San Benito, Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills, Carson and Butte — are fighting back against fracking.

Stop the bomb trains because they are on their way here if we don’t.

 

http://action.priceofoil.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15610

 

Quick update.

Went to Los Osos Community Service District meeting to ask them to join San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande calling on the Board of Supervisors to adopt a countywide ban on Fracking.

A group of  local and county residents respectfully submitted the request with valid and legitimate reasons why this was important. Banning the practice of using millions of gallons of water we don’t have and turning it into a toxic soup we can’t get rid of and that directly and adversely impacts all communities within the unincorporated areas was stressed.

We made it easy for them to join their peers with a simple letter drafted after the San Luis Obispo letter which would save staff time and there was no fiscal impact which always seems to be a matter for consideration before a decision can be made.The Los Osos decision makers however seemed a little disoriented and unsure of what exactly to do and the response was that they would need 2 months to deliberate on the request.

We thank them for their time and regret that they will not be included as a community in support of protecting, preserving and safe guarding their constituents from a process that will by hook or crook take our precious water and turn it into a lethal injection unless we do something to prevent that from happening right now.

We did what we could and that is all we can do. We move on.

Great news Announcement:  We have a coalition of Cal Poly and Cuesta students on the ban fracking ban-wagon and committed to joining our presentation to the Board on May 20th. It is just a joy to watch these young people in action. They are putting together a whole campaign in less than 3 weeks and their do it and get it done attitude is just positively refreshing.

They will be a force to be dealt with when they finally spread their wings and take flight.  It is a honor and sheer pleasure working with them.

And Please NOTE Board of Supervisors, 1055 Monterey, SLO, meeting on Tuesday May 20th is at 9 am in the morning. Not 6pm as previously announced.

Another announcement:  Cal Poly group Future Fuels is holding an annual expo to showcase student and industry projects dealing with sustainability on Saturday May 10th  from 11am to 3pm on the plaza outside of Building 192 on Cal Poly campus.

There will be a  live band, food, and hopefully a large turnout of students, faculty, and members of the community. SLO CLEAN WATER Action will be tabling information about fracking and gathering signatures for the BOS meetings with help from the newly formed  Students Against Fracking. YEA.  You can find us by just looking for the group with the White tees that Says San Luis Obispo County across the top. We got Tees. Thank you June C for the hook up.

And one bit of sad news I learned today when Eric Greening so admirably requested a moment of silence in honor of the passing of our Willow Walking Turtle Kelly. I am deeply saddened by this news as her spirit will be so missed but am also so joyful and happy that she is at home at last embraced, surrounded consumed by loving souls just like her. She is truly in a position of power now and I for one will not hesitate to call on her and her band of angels for wisdom and guidance from time to time. Love you Willow and thank you for being here and being part of lives.

Kicking this out in a hurry before it becomes a chapter rather than a verse.

Jeanne