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Mon Jan 22 2018 (Updated 04/17/18)
California Mobilizes to Oppose Offshore Oil Drilling
On January 4, the Trump administration released a draft five-year plan that would open federal waters in the Pacific Ocean to new oil leasing for the first time in more than thirty years. The plan proposes new offshore drilling in almost all federal waters, including the currently protected Arctic and Atlantic oceans and eastern Gulf of Mexico. Resistance to Trump's plan spread throughout California quickly. Supervisors in San Franciscio and Marin County passed resolutions opposing offshore oil drilling. North coast environmental groups vowed to do everything in their power to fight it. In Santa Cruz and Laguna Beach, environmental groups have planned protest rallies on February 3
Sun Jan 21 2018 (Updated 01/22/18)
'Soledad Brother' John Clutchette Granted Parole
On January 12, 2018, the California Board of Parole Hearings granted parole to an elderly inmate named John Clutchette. However, supporters of parole for Clutchette are concerned that California Governor Jerry Brown will reverse the Board's decision, and Clutchette will not be released. Supporters have a reason to be concerned. After all, this is exactly what happened in 2016 when Clutchette was similarly granted parole by the Board but Governor Brown chose to reverse the Board's ruling. In an Angola 3 News interview, legal scholar Angela A. Allen-Bell contextualizes Brown's reference to the Soledad Brothers, and identifies other troubling aspects of the case.
Protect Monterey County and its attorneys will appeal the Monterey County Superior Court decision that overturns portions of Measure Z. Last year Monterey County voters passed Measure Z, an initiative that bans hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), prohibits new oil wells and phases out oil-industry wastewater injection wells. The court’s decision leaves the fracking ban in place, holding that oil-industry plaintiffs lack standing to challenge it. However, the decision strikes down the ban on new oil and gas wells and wastewater injection.
Thu Jan 4 2018 (Updated 02/07/18)
KPFA Radio at Risk
On January 8, Berkeley's KPFA radio may have its money and property seized by the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) because of a 1.8 million dollar debt accumulated by sister station WBAI in New York. At that point, KPFA's building and bank account may no longer be under their own control, potentially taking not only WBAI off the air, but the entire Pacifica Network which includes KPFA in Berkeley, KPFK in Los Angeles, KPFT in Houston, and WPFW in Washington D.C. The Pacifica National Board has yet to take decisive action to protect the assets of the foundation, leaving the future of the network uncertain. How aggressive ESRT will be regarding Pacifica's assets remains unknown.
On November 29, over a dozen climate justice activists protested Governor Jerry Brown’s speaking appearance at the Metreon in San Francisco as part of the New York Times ClimateTECH summit. They called out the hypocrisy of Brown claiming to be a “climate leader” while he promotes fracking and other extreme oil extraction methods in the state. One of the organizers of the San Francisco protest was twenty-nine-year-old Daniel Gustavo Ilario of Castro Valley, who was in Bonn, Germany as a part of an indigenous delegation and was one of the protestors who interrupted Brown's speech. Ilario is a member of Idle No More San Francisco Bay, an indigenous-women-led climate justice organization.
According to a report by the Urban Displacement Project of UC Berkeley, between 2013 and 2015 the pace of gentrification and displacement in Northern California accelerated most quickly in Oakland’s low-income neighborhoods. Skyrocketing rents reveal the need for strong rent control and just cause eviction protections in Oakland and throughout the Bay Area. According to the New York Times, Oakland’s median rent during 2016 was among the highest in the nation, just short of the median rent in Manhattan. During August of 2017, the average market rate rent for a one bedroom unit was $2,400 per month in Oakland, but since then according to Zillow the current median rent in Oakland is up to $3,000 per month.
The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones and other publications have touted Governor Jerry Brown and other state officials as the “resistance” to Donald Trump’s pro-oil industry policies in recent articles, but the reality on the ground is much different. In fact, the oil industry is the single largest corporate lobby in Sacramento — and dominates spending on lobbying every legislative session. Every bill opposed by the oil industry with the exception of one has failed to pass out of the Legislature over the past three years, due to the gusher of Big Oil lobbying money. The oil industry spent more on lobbying in California, $16,360,618, in the first six months of 2017 than was spent by the industry in all of 2016, $16.0 million.
California:   2