Six Ways to Help End California Neighborhood Oil Drilling
Today, millions of Californians live in neighborhoods within a mile of an active and polluting oil or gas well. One main reason: There are no statewide regulations that keep oil and gas wells away from the places where people live, work and study.
The effects have already been devastating, especially for people in low-income communities and communities of color. They face a variety of increased health risks, from asthma to premature birth to cancer. Nearby drilling also threatens them with the possibility of oil spills and worsens climate change.
Fortunately, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently proposed a rule that would require a 3,200-foot buffer zone between new oil wells and people’s homes, offices and schools. This would also limit the impact of existing boreholes on the communities. Here’s how you can help support the rule, which is currently open for public comment.
1. Submit a written comment.
Public comments can go a long way in influencing decision makers. So this is your chance to play a role in our democracy. Tell California officials they must protect communities from dangerous neighborhood drilling. If you are directly affected, explain how; providing a personal story paints a picture of what’s really at stake. Help us reach our goal of submitting 10,000 public comments by the December 21 deadline!
2. Get a quick primer.
Need more context? Read this NRDC blog describing the history of this struggle, including the oil industry’s lobbying efforts to stop setbacks and the scientific evidence linking drilling to increased risk of respiratory injury and poor birth outcomes. Then learn about community activists like VISIÃN, STAND-LA and other grassroots groups who are striving to continue drilling away from their neighborhoods and tackling the underlying environmental racism.
3. Share your story.
Record a video or take a selfie to explain to California executives why you care about ending neighborhood drilling. Use our new share your story tool to upload your post to social media and be sure to tag @NRDC in your post.
4. Start the press.
Write a letter to the editor of your article to help keep this issue out of the public eye. Use our letter writing tool to get started. And remember, every letter published in California newspapers, large and small, has the potential to reach a large audience.
5. Test your knowledge.
Ready to show off your expertise on oil drilling in California? Text CA DRILLING to 21333 * now to take a quick quiz. The more you know, the more effective your advocacy becomes.
6. Tap into the power of art.
Download and share the gorgeous graphic (featured above) by California artist Smug Morenita on your social pages to raise awareness.
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