Activists Deliver One Million Petitions to Governor Brown to Phase Out Fossil Fuels in California

Día de los Muertos Event at Capitol Celebrates the Resilience of Frontline and Indigenous Communities Fighting for a Healthier Future

Amazon Watch

For more information, contact:

Remote: Kate Fried, Greenpeace USA at +1.202.257.0057 or kfried@greenpeace.org
On-site: Sommer Yesenofski, RALLY at +1.949.257.8768 or syesenofski@wearerally.com
Bilingual English/Spanish: Adelita Serena, Mothers Out Front
at +1.530.554.3129 or adelita.serena@mothersoutfront.org


Sacramento, CA – With the midterm elections just days away, the Brown's Last Chance campaign delivered nearly 60,000 petitions to Governor Brown urging him to freeze new fossil fuel permits in California during his final time in office. Californians and allies from around the globe have directly petitioned the Governor over a million times to phase out the fossil fuel production harming their communities and the climate since he took office in 2011.

Representatives of the campaign from Californians Against Fracking, Central California Environmental Justice Network, Presente.org, Mothers Out Front, Amazon Watch, CREDO and more held a press conference on the north steps of the Capitol building in Sacramento to call on current and future state leadership to address the harms that fossil fuels impose on the climate and communities.

The event took place on Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, to call attention to those who have lost their lives to illnesses associated with living in close proximity to oil and gas industry infrastructure and climate-fueled natural disasters, and to celebrate communities on the frontlines of extraction who organize tirelessly for protections from oil and gas production.

"As a mother of two teenage boys I am deeply concerned about the impacts fossil fuel extraction has and will continue to have as threats continue to be alarmingly apparent with every weather forecast and the trends in respiratory health for our young population. I hope and pray bold action is taken from our Governor before he leaves office to ensure a healthy livable planet for generations to come by acting on our demands," shared Adelita Serena, Climate Action Organizer with Mothers Out Front, an organization building power with mothers to ensure a livable climate for all children.

Brown's Last Chance is a campaign of over 800 organizations united to demand that Governor Brown put the health and well-being of Californians and vulnerable communities globally before oil industry profits. Since April of this year, Brown's Last Chance has urged Brown to take action on climate change by:

  • Establishing a health and safety buffer around existing and new drill sites.
  • Announcing no new permits for oil and gas extraction, fossil fuel infrastructure, or petrochemical projects in California.
  • Setting a global precedent by becoming the first oil producing state to announce a phase-out of existing production in line with the Paris climate goals, with a just and equitable transition that protects workers, communities, and economies, starting in places that are suffering most from the impacts of fossil fuel extraction.

The event followed Brown's Global Climate Action Summit, where Governor Brown was met with a series of demonstrations calling out his refusal to sever ties with the oil and gas industry. Brown's administration has issued permits for over 20,000 new oil and gas wells. More than 5 million Californians live within a mile of an active oil and gas well, leaving them vulnerable to respiratory problems, preterm births, and premature death. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization.

"Families in Kern County are aware that there are possibilities of a future powered by green energy where they don't have to carry the burden of so many risks to public health in order to make a profit. Families in Kern County demand better of Governor Brown before it's too late," said Cesar Aguirre, organizer with the Central California Environmental Justice Network, which supports grassroots environmental justice leadership and runs a environmental reporting system monitoring air pollution and environmental health impacts in Kern County, where approximately seventy five percent of the state's oil extraction occurs.

"As one of the country's largest producers and processors of oil and gas and the world's single biggest importer of crude oil from the Amazon, California makes an outsized contribution to climate change and to the negative health and justice impacts of the oil and gas industry," said Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch. "Frontline communities and indigenous peoples living next to oil wells and refineries in California and in the Amazon rainforest bear the biggest brunt of those impacts. Governor Brown has one last chance to stand up for our climate and for the most vulnerable among us – will he rise to the occasion?"

"On this Día de los Muertos, we honor the lives and resistance of our loved ones and ancestors who led by protecting our people and the planet. We understand the power of culture to inspire the next generation of climate justice leaders and expose the cowardly and dangerous support of the fossil fuel industry by elected officials," said Matt Nelson, Executive Director of Presente.org, the nation's largest online Latinx organizing group. "California families deserve to live in safe communities, free from climate devastation and harmful fossil fuel production; and we deserve a Governor who is not afraid to protect our climate, our people, and our government from corrupt corporate abuse."

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