Governor Jerry Brown thinks fracking has "zero impact," but we know a few towns in the Central Valley that beg to differ.
Kern County is California's most-fracked county. It also has the worst air quality in the nation, as well as highly elevated rates of cancer and respiratory illness.1 Kern County residents are fighting back and have invited Governor Brown to come see the impacts of fracking for himself. We're urging him to take them up on the invitation.
This is what fracking looks like up close and personal.
The oil industry has been in Kern County for decades, but fracking has opened up new opportunities for expansion. For residents of towns like Shafter and Wasco, fracking means more extraction and more impacts on their health. More wells are popping up every day -- often just spitting distance from schoolyards, homes, churches, and farms -- and bringing with them an explosion of oil field traffic, methane flares, pipelines, and wastewater pits filled with secret chemical cocktails.
Climate change makes all this much worse, of course: the Central Valley is buckling under the ongoing drought, agricultural jobs are drying up, dust-borne Valley Fever is on the rise, and respiratory illnesses like asthma are exacerbated as temperatures rise.
California is at a crossroads, and Governor Jerry Brown has a choice to make: go all-in on extreme energy, or finally say "enough is enough."
We're calling on him to end fracking in California, but we don't want him to just hear it from us. Take Kern County residents up on their invitation, Governor Brown. Go see what fracking looks like face to face with impacted residents in Shafter, CA.
Click here to read Kern County community members' letter to Governor Brown. Click here to learn more about the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment, which joins residents on the ground in working for healthy communities in the Central Valley.