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Feature Archives

Wed Nov 16 2016 (Updated 12/14/16)
Santa Cruz Stands with Standing Rock
Dozens of local supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe gathered at the Town Clock on the evening of November 15 for a loud, raucous and joyous celebration of the NoDAPL Day of Action. Allegra David, an organizer of the demonstration, led the group on short walk to full throated chants of "Water is Life" and "You Can't Drink Oil." The group's spirits were uplifted by the report that the Army Corps of Engineers dealt a blow to the progress of the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying in a letter that more analysis and discussion with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe is needed before construction can take place under the Missouri River.
On November 15, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved legislation prohibiting new fossil fuel leases on city-owned property in an effort to combat climate change. The legislation by Supervisor John Avalos originated with 350 Bay Area analyst Jed Holtzman, who discovered the city was leasing to Chevron an 800-acre property that it inherited in Kern County. City finance officials say converting the property to a solar array could generate more revenue than current oil operations, which net the city about $320,000 annually.
Voters in Monterey County, California's fourth-largest oil-producing county, passed Measure Z to ban fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques. The measure won with more than fifty-five percent of the vote, despite supporters being outspent thirty to one by oil companies, including Chevron and Aera Energy. Measure Z also phases out toxic wastewater injection and prohibits new oil wells in the county. "David beat Goliath in Monterey County's stunning victory against oil industry pollution,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity.
Sun Oct 30 2016 (Updated 11/05/16)
D is for Dilemma in Santa Cruz County
Big money is being spent to influence the outcome of Measure D on the November Santa Cruz County ballot. Unlike political offices, campaigns for ballot measures have no limit to the amount of money that can be contributed. There is no restriction on the source of contributions, so special interests from outside the County can buy influence in our local ballot measures. This week, The No on D group, Widening Won't Work, has organized two public demonstrations in front of two of the major corporate donors to Measure D, Granite Rock Construction Company and Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
A U.S. district judge on September 6 overturned a Bureau of Land Management plan to open more than one million acres of public land and mineral estate in central California to drilling and fracking. The ruling notes that BLM officials estimate that oil companies would frack 25 percent of new wells drilled on vast stretches of land in California’s Central Valley, the southern Sierra Nevada, and in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. Yet the bureau’s 1,073-page management plan contained just three brief mentions of fracking and offered no analysis of fracking pollution’s threats to endangered species or California’s water supplies.
Crude from Monterey County's biggest oilfield is more climate damaging than any other large source of oil produced in, or imported into, California, according to a new Center for Biological Diversity analysis of state data. The Center’s report, titled Stealing California's Future, found that crude from the San Ardo oilfield is even more carbon-intensive than notoriously dirty oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada. The report also found that the San Ardo field is the most carbon-intensive large oilfield in California, ultimately generating about 3.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution a year.
Sat Sep 10 2016 (Updated 11/26/16)
Three Federal Agencies Block Dakota Access Pipeline
On September 9, a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s motion to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. Minutes later, the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement announcing a temporary halt to work on the pipeline. Actions in support of the Water protectors continue to be held across California in response to the global call for solidarity by the Standing Rock protest camps for September 3-17.