Newsletter #42 – Good Day in the Neighborhood

Aquifer Exemption Hearing.

About 40 people at the Rally.

freeport-pic-3-jpg 12002761_10153538758669845_4444712686132262879_n 12038387_10154184064333098_4154233043254278860_n

About 100 at the hearing. Press coverage.


Heidi spokesperson always good.


Comments inside just amazing. Covered the whole spectrum of concerns. Homeowners with horror stories and concern for their water. Facts and stats from Maya and Ash from the Center for Biological Diversity let DOGGR know exemptions don’t make it safe or legal. Sierra Club about the earthquake factor no one else seems to be addressing and just blows holes in the “it is safe” rhetoric. Andrew from Clean Water Action getting DOGGR to extend comment time. Our neighbors to the south, Becca and Janet troupe from Santa Barbara showed up for support. Thank you, thank you.

Supervisor Hill there letting DOGGR know the Board of Supervisors does not appreciate the lack of communications and information. Way to go Adam.

No one was buying DOGGR and Freeport’s take on the situation.

There was a stenographer there recording every word we said for the record. I didn’t know they still did stenography.

I think the rubber stamping of this project just got waylaid. Not going to be as easy as they thought. There were points made that need addressing and can’t be ignored.

Here are some news clips.…/public-meeting-on-proposed-arroyo-gra…

Grover Beach City Council packed the house too protesting the Oil Train spur. We are on this SLO!

If you didn’t get a chance to submit comments  on exemption still time.  Email:  ATTN: San Luis Obispo HEARING 09-21-2015

Two things I noticed you might comment on. 1) The earthquake issue. What is faster than a speeding bullet? Can level tall buildings in a single bound? An earthquake. We know there are 3 faults on the  ARRoyo Grande property. We don’t need any seismic testing to prove this fact. One fault line is all it takes to compromise their ‘safe, impermeable bowl shaped aquifer theory”

We also know for a fact that there is no instrumentation and technology now that can accurately measure what is going on  sub surface to detect, track, record, nooks and crannies, fissures, lesions, holes, weaknesses that could occur and compromise the integrity of the aquifer and in particular when there is any kind of earth movement which can happen any time.

California  Council on Science and Technology testified that that technology is at least 3 years down the road. In the meantime there is over a 1.5 billion gallons of toxic waste gurgling underground just waiting to make a break at the first chance it gets. And where it goes no body knows. A 2.0 earthquake could do it. High Pressure steam injection could do it.

And, one more thing. What is the complaint process if this ‘can’t fail’ ‘fail safe’ plan fails? There is no formal, official, legally binding complaint process for the citizenry to file when an  accident, spill, noxious smells, dumping, explosion, noise, funny tasting water, blinding lights, whatever happens. NONE.

There never has been any clearly defined official, must-respond-and-investigate complaint mechanism in place for the oil drilling process.  Without it, ever complaint filed is immediately tossed into the find-the-regulation-and-agency-responsible, file.

No body knows who is in charge of complaints not even the agencies in charge  and there are over 3,000 of them for water issues alone in California.  To compound the PROBLEM, determining if it is a local, state or Federal issue can lead to years of searching and filing complaints that lead nowhere. Case in point. West Adams in LA has been 10 years playing this game trying to get someone, anyone to address water, air and soil contamination of their neighborhood by drilling rigs in their backyard.

We need to know, we have a right to know, how to file an formal, official complaint and a set time for the response and resolution. Otherwise the only solution is the individual takes a shot in the dark agency or company to court and that is cost prohibitive and can also take years.

So we need a mechanism built into the regulatory agency in charge of approving and permitting oil drilling operations that has a clear, concise, formal, official complaint form readily and easily accessible to every person.

Solution: Must insist this complaint process is in place and functional before they approve anything.

Next event, October. 22, Planning commission continuance meeting on extending 31 wells  conditional use permit for 3 years.   Can send emails to planning commission if you can’t make the meeting for public comment.  It made a difference last time.

We are winning.  We showed up and that is what it takes. And with a little help from our friends will put us over the top!!!


Newsletter # 39 Planning hearing results – Call to Action- This is a Biggie.

Word on the street was the Planning Dept.hearing was prepared to approve a three year extension on the expired 31 wells. That was Before they got the word from concerned residents and our local Sierra Club.       Letters written, emails sent and public comments made  expressing our concerns. They heard us. The word Now is the Planning Board is revisiting the EIR and have continued the hearing until Oct. 22nd when all the members will be in attendance and they can address our concerns.  Way to go people!!!!!  We did it. Give yourselves a hand. 👏   We will be back on Oct. 22.

Next, the Sept. 21st Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, DOGGR,  hearing- This is a biggie. kicking off the whole DOGGR aquifer exemption process across the State.  Here goes. 
The proposal to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for the Dollie sands of the Pismo formation in the Arroyo Grande oil field (in unincorporated San Luis Obispo county near the intersection of Ormonde Road and Price Canyon Road).  Subject to approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“US EPA”), the proposed aquifer exemption would allow the State, in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, to approve Class II injection into the identified area, either for enhanced oil recovery or for injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.Need I say this is a very very bad idea for a number of very very good reasons.  All of which we will be discussing and preparing for in one of two ways.First, I received this email from Natalie Beller.

Aquifer exemption hearing

Natalie Beller <>

Hi All!

You are receiving this email because you gave it to Maria, Trish, or I, or I found your email address on the documents from last Thursday’s planning commission hearing regarding the Price Canyon oil fields.
The purpose of this email is to connect people that are interested in this issue. When people work together they are often more powerful that when they act alone.
Please use this email chain to communicate to the group
1) what you would like to talk about on the hearing date
2) what resources you can offer  – i.e. articles, expert opinions, spreading info (passing flyers, writing to government representatives, contacting newspapers).
This email chain is expected to last for one week. At which point, we can decide if we want to continue to use it to plan for the October 22 SLO county planning commission hearing.
Trish Wilson has offered her home as a meeting place next Sunday, Sept 20, at 4 p.m. She would like to know if anybody would like to meet then. If you would like to meet in person sooner, please offer a meeting place. Trish’s  address is 1606 Old Oak Park Road, Arroyo Grande, CA.
Thanks and have a great week,


Contact Natalie if you plan to attend the Sunday strategy meeting. I’ll be there and hope the Arroyo Grande Water Group will be too.

Also just got word Center for Biological Diversity has put out an APB to all to attend THE rally at the Monday meeting scheduled for 3 pm. Yes there is going to be a Rally. The hearing starts at 4.  CBD is sending experts to address  DOGGR and who can go toe to toe with their legal eagles. This is the kick off in a series of meetings DOGGR is holding to get wells across the state exempted. The buck stops here.

We need to send a strong strong united message not just for us here in SLO but set the tone for the whole State. This is a Biggie. Students. Environmental Groups. Surfers. Farmers. Business owners.  WE are all in this together to protect our life style and quality of life.

The email chain will give you ideas for comments written or use during the public comment section. CBD will be sending bullet points and talking points I will forward on to you all.

Attend the Sunday meeting. And lets rally the troops and pack the room on Monday.  There will be lots of media there and once again all eyes will  be on SLO. The world will be watching. This is a big deal.    Lets give them something to remember and a whole new impression of what SLO stands for.  We have been preparing for this for over 3 years. Go Team SLO!!!!! And lets keep it cheery and upbeat. We are so glad to be the first and have been waiting for this moment. Yea Team.


So, There you have it folks. A ready made plan for success.


Get in touch with Natalie and post your comments and suggestions per her email chain. Reply all.  I will do the same.

We don’t have much time, less than a week so let me start the ball rolling

by suggesting a talking point.

The Underground Injection Control UIC program mandated to the States by the EPA is in the draft stage.

The federal regulations for the UIC Program are found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) establishes requirements and provisions for the UIC Program. DOGGR had failed to implement the UIC program critical to insuring the safety, health, and well being of our groundwater and aquifers. DOGGR is working on a draft.

Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1974. In part, the SDWA requires EPA to develop minimum federal requirements for UIC programs and other safeguards to protect public health by preventing injection wells from contaminating underground sources of drinking water (USDWs).

Freeport McMoRan is applying for an exemption to the UIC program that is not even implemented yet.

It is requesting permission to continue to re inject toxic waste water containing possible benzene, hydrogen sulfide, radioactive isotopes, and who knows what else because they are also exempt from the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxic Release Inventory under the Community Right to Know Act, into an unspecified underground aquifer on the property. I say unspecified because the boundaries are unclear and source unidentified.

The exemptions just means there are no records of what is in the waste water or where it is going. No reporting or monitoring system by DOGGR has been in effect.  Further, Freeport is basing their exemption request on an undocumented 1983 agreement with the EPA.

Freeport recently commissioned a study on the condition of the groundwater per the Conditional Use Permit.  The study was based in part on Freeport’s records and data of the water sources and conditions they were not required to keep. Recommend exemption denied until UIC is fully implemented and Freeport is in total compliance verified by a independent certified water testing contractor.


We are going to make it real easy for everyone to get involved one way or another because in essence we are all going to be adversely impacted one way or another if the exemptions are approved.  Water mainly is what connects us all.  It’s o.k. to feel a little uncomfortable with activism but believe me the more you do the more comfortable you get and then it starts to feel good. Every persons counts. WE need wall to wall bodies.

Get on Natalie’s email chain and if you can’t make the meeting on Sunday at Trish’s home or the DOGGR meeting on Monday you can write DOGGR a respectful, thoughtful,  letter giving them at least one very good reason why you don’t think the exemption is a good idea. Make it personal. It’s all good.  It only takes one. And yours could be the one in a million that will make the difference.  We don’t have to be expert writers or speakers, or know all the facts or data or laws. Leave all that to the experts (and they will be there. thank you CBD).

We do need to not be afraid to speak up and out on our right to be safe and secure in our surroundings and do whatever it takes to keep it that way.  Lets do this.

Here is DOGGR’s contact info if you can’t make the meeting in person.

Public comments on this project must be submitted no later than 8:00 P.M., on  September 21, 2015

Email:  ATTN: Aquifer Exemption in the Subject box.

Natalie’s email

Natalie Beller <>

for Sunday meeting and email chain.

Mondays SEPT 21 DOGGR HEARING:  Rally at 3pm!!!  Save our Ground water. NO exemptions.

San Luis Obispo September 21, 2015 4pm-7pm
Courtyard Marriot
1605 Calle Joaquin Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405



Jeanne Blackwell
SLO Clean
“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.” Eric Hoffer

Newsletter #33 – Week in a nutshell the size of a coconut

Citizens in Denton, Texas arrested for defending their homes against toxic trespassers. Who should really be getting arrested here?

Then, Denton City Council drops the repeal of the Fracking Ban. Reading the comments of the citizen is very very encouraging. The council actually listened to the 4 hour public comments and decided to stand their ground and keep the ban. Another David and Goliath story and remembering always who won that battle.

And then this today  BREAKING: This morning dozens of Denton residents surrounded the gates to Vantage Energy’s active fracking operation on Nail Road, demonstrating their long term commitment to defend their ordinance which bans fracking within city limits. In a weekly event dubbed “Frack Free Fridays,” community members will be amassing every Friday to maintain constant pressure on Vantage Energy and their nefarious role as the first fracking operator to violate Denton’s fracking ban.

They are ready to take on the world. They are not afraid. Real leaders. Real Heroes. City government backing them up 100%. That’s the way it should be.



SLO bans styrofoam

Maryland bans fracking

California Oil/Gas Official Resigns Amid Legal, Political Challenges

Natural Gas Intelligence (Richard Nemec)

Mark Nechodom, director of the California Department of Conservation (DOC), resigned suddenly Friday in the midst of increasing legal and political challenges alleging conspiracies and lack of oversight of the oil and natural gas industry.

What does this mean? It means the system is broken.
It means Brown, who appointed Nechodom, knows what is going on. It’s his job to know.
It means Brown is the top dog and the buck stops with him.
It means Brown’s deafening silence on the consequences of fracking and oil extraction is advocating the mercenary dumping of toxic wastes into our protected aquifers.
It means he is using his executive power to protect criminals that have a history of violating human and environmental laws and the laws of nature.
It means he is using the color of office to provide safe haven for environmental terrorist.

Executive power works both ways.
He could order an immediate moratorium on water use for oil extraction. But he is not.

Our Board of Supervisors could use their executive power to impose an immediate moratorium on water use for oil extraction to protect our aquifer from the illegal dumping that is happening right now in our backyard. But they are not.  I guess they would rather risk not doing anything rather than play it safe and shut it down.




Didn’t take the industry long to come up with an alternative plan did it? But Santa Barbara community is on this. Way to go neighbors. We owe you one!!!

The oil industry is already proposing a land swap with Mexico to get around offshore drilling leases.  They are incorrigible. Can not be trusted or believe anything they say. Ever.

And CAL POLY is in the News. It’s about their Master Plan and some Students for Agriculture have put up a web site for information and call to action. It is after all a land grant university right?


PG&E FAILS SAFETY TEST AGAIN (How many chances do they get for Pete’s sake)?


Over this past weekend, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace received a bulletin informing us that two spent fuel casks had been loaded improperly at the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in Avila Beach, CA. Upon further inspection, we discovered that 19 of the 34 dry casks that have been loaded at the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) have been loaded IMPROPERLY.


What does this mean for those of us who live near the plant? For the past 15 years or so, PG&E has been using high-burnup fuel – fuel that burns longer in the reactor, and so is much hotter (both in temperature and radioactivity) than the “traditional” nuclear fuel. When high-burnup fuel comes out of the reactor core and is placed in the cooling pools, it needs to have space around it, and it must stay in the cooling pools for AT LEAST 7 years. Even after 7 years, it is hotter than other fuel. (PG&E has not revealed how many of the improperly loaded fuel rods were high-burnup.)


The fuel rods are supposed to be spaced far apart when they are loaded into the dry casks. Here’s where the problem lies: PG&E IMPROPERLY LOADED 19 OF THE 34 DRY CASKS AT DIABLO CANYON. Rather than spacing the fuel rods far apart, technicians loaded the fuel into the CENTER of the dry casks, which causes uneven heat distribution – NOT the distribution that the dry casks are designed for. In 56% of the dry casks now stored on a fragile, earthquake-prone coastline at Diablo Canyon, fuel loading has VIOLATED​ ​TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.

The heat load caused by improperly loading fuel into dry casks can cause warping of​ the cask lid because of uneven heat distribution inside the cask. Warping can cause exacerbation of cracking around the bolt holes in the cask. If the bolt holes crack, the stainless steel cask (5/8” thick) can crack, the lid can become dislodged, and radiation can escape. If there is sufficient cracking, oxygen can permeate the cask, which has been vacuum-sealed with helium. If oxygen hits the zircaloy cladding on the fuel rods, they can spontaneously ignite, causing an uncontrolled​ ​release of radiation. If that happens, it would be a catastrophe of unprecedented proportion.

What has PG&E done about this? They’ve sharpened up their pencils and shown us that it’s all just “fine.” They report that the “total thermal load has not been exceeded.” No problem!


​ Never​ before in the history of US nuclear power has an operator so failed to follow technica​l specifications​​ for spent fuel loading​​. Technical specifications are the nuclear industry’s bible, and they are to be followed precisely. PG&E has CONSISTENTLY ​VIOLATED​ the clear ​instructions that ​they ​​are ordered to adhere to.



San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace calls for immediate additional NRC oversight in the form of two additional inspectors at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant for at least the next two years.

We call for a public NRC investigation into the root cause of the  problem.

We call for the immediate inspection of all 34 dry casks to look for cracking, warping and escape of radiation into the environment.

And we call for the immediate shutdown of the plant until the problem has been fully and completely corrected.  (I added the bold print).

And on that same note if you haven’t signed AND shared the petition to The SLO County Board of Supervisors DEMANDING  an IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON NON-ESSENTIAL STORED WATER USE FOR OIL EXTRACTION

please do. Anyone can sign. It’s about the water.  There is just so much water and oil to go around. Nature isn’t making anymore of either of these things and we are running out of both.

So, the question really becomes, if you had to make a choice today and your life depended on making the right choice, which would you choose? A gallon of water or a glass of oil?  You can’t have both. Its either or for the simply reason oil and water don’t mix. It takes 10 gallons of fresh water to pull up one gallon of oil that leaves behind 10 gallons of toxic waste water. So that is what this moratorium is all about.  A choice. Water or Oil. It’s pretty simple.

I sent a hard copy to Pope Francis and asked if he would like to sign it. (He tweets but he doesn’t do emails.) Sent a self addressed envelope to the Board of Supervisors and included postage.  This Pope seems to be the kind of leader you can trust and is not afraid to speak truth to power. No harm in asking right?

o.k. Folks. Hang in there. Things are about to change in a big way. And if we play our cards right and stick together like glue it will be a Big change for the better.

p.s. Grand Jury report out. No mention of the complaint against the Board of Supervisors. That says a lot doesn’t it?  And now we know how that works.  A learning process. It’s all good.

Newsletter #32 Where is all the water going that we are conserving?

Quick update on the Rally in Santa Barbara yesterday.  Activist “owned Santa Barbara today.”
Next,Just heard this on Pandora (actually my son heard it and passed it on).

City of San Luis is putting on a Water Forum at the Ludwig Center Thursday May 28 5pm-8pm Discussion  Water: Fact or Fiction @ 6:30.  There wasn’t a speaker agenda so don’t really know who is talking about what. I will have a couple of questions though. Maybe you do too.Where is all the water going that we are conserving? 20% cutback in home usage could add up to millions of gallons. Will that buy us some time? NASA reported we only have 10 months of stored water left.  20% saved could buy us a couple of months of water. And how exactly are we going to collect on all this saved water?

I would hate to think that I am saving this water for a rainy day and it ends up going to someone who didn’t save a drop. I am thinking new construction and worst yet our precious saved water is going to a non essential, secondary, industrial production like oil drilling that is asking for a 3 fold increase in its water usage.  And that leads to the bigger question what about the county and all the water in the unincorporated areas? I’ll get to that in a moment.

The other question is about the fines for wasting water $500? Who collects those fines and where does the money go?  General Fund? Water fund? Utility company? Maybe these questions will be answered. I hope so. Here’s the link for more info.
water forum
And remember Denton,Texas where Fracking first began and they just passed an ordinance to ban it?

Local ban nullified by state; fracking resumes in Denton

“As for the grass-roots fight in Denton against fracking, Frack Free Denton President Adam Briggle said that will continue.

We cannot say how this story will unfold, but we do know this dark chapter shall not be the last one written,” he said.”

Believe it or not this ruling is very helpful in the construct of our next move here in SLO county. But I am truly sorry to hear about Denton. We might send them some words of encouragement and support. We are all in this together so here’s a  Frack Free Denton link to let them know we care and are pulling for them.

Think our next move is a countywide moratorium on non essential water use for oil extraction. Non essential water use is defined as: water uses that are not essential nor required for the protection of public, health, safety, and welfare. Under this definition, irrigation of landscape areas, including parks, athletic fields, and golf courses, washing cars, washing down sidewalks, filling swimming pools, fountains are non essential use and restricted or moratoriums issued.

Some of these protocols have already been implemented in cities and counties across the State.  But there is one very blaring, critical omission on this list of non essential water use. Water used to extract oil.

Since there is no mention of water used to extract oil and in particular oil extraction that is exempt from the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts, we need to add that to the list of non essential water use and implement a moratorium on it.

Currently Freeport at the Arroyo Grande Oil Fields is extracting 384,600,000 gallons of fresh water that is used to extract a hazardous and toxic product, oil and the water used is then reclassified as a hazardous waste because it came in contact with benzene, radioactive isotopes, hydrogen sulfide, etc and poses a real threat to the safety, health and well being of all water. The threat is, this hazardous waste is re injected back into the ground where it can infect the essential ground water. And once the water is infected life gets very very difficult and not fun real fast.

The Board of Supervisors is the lead agency and has the final say on this issue of essential and non essential water use in the unincorporated areas of this county.  The final say –  a moratorium issued on non essential water use to extract oil within San Luis Obispo County.There is just so much water to go around, this is an emergency situation and it needs an emergency response.  A moratorium that plugs up a loophole and secures our water for essential use is an appropriate first response to an emergency.   And, it is not a ban on fracking or oil drilling. It is a moratorium on non essential water use. And, it is following the Gov.’s order to cutback and conserve water and to treat every drop like it was our last.

If you agree this is what needs to happen here sign the petition share it like crazy with friends, enemies, strangers and then wait to get the all-hands-on-deck call to the Board of Supervisors meeting to delivery it.Click here to add your name:

EMERGENCY MORATORIUM on non-essential stored water use for oil extraction

I will have the petition to sign at the premier showing of Split Estate  this Tuesday May 26, 7-9 pm at the Steynberg Gallery and also at the Community Water Forum on Thursday 5-8pm at the Ludwig center.
Hearing faints sounds from the fat lady in the wings tuning up.
Making memories on this Memorial Day 2015.
Best Always,

Oakland March for Real Climate Leadership.


Inline image 1
We had such a diverse and representative group on board. This bus did San Luis Obispo proud. Youngest on board Lucas 7 with his grandfather,  great student presence from Cuesta lead by David Kooi and Poly lead by Jesse Gibson, and the rest were the movers and shakers in the community providing the glue and connecting the dots. This was taken in Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of an historic  heritage live oak. Its called the Jack London Oak and has quite an interesting history.  Truth is I did not know Jack London grew up in Oakland.

Eric Greening graced us with his presence and provided us with gems of info about the inter workings of our governing boards and made sure we didn’t miss the San Ardo oil fracking oil fields which are  too close for comfort to our county line and a precursor to what is in store for us in Price canyon and Husana​ if we don’t do something straight away to prevent it. Seeing it on the way home was an eye opener. Lights from the operation reflected off the clouds and lit up the sky. It was bright.


We had fresh coffee and pastries from Black Horse and Cowboy Cookies and munchies from SLO Food co-op. Tori, Linda and Holly. Take charge ladies that just made things happen. Thank you.


And to our sponsors who donated seats and made sure this happened. THANK YOU. Always get just what we need when we need it. This community ROCKS. Thank you.

Thank you June for handling the check ins. No small task. Never did find out where that extra person came from on the way home but at least we didn’t lose anyone.


The march was super.


​L​et me say that people power celebrating our love and commitment to Mother Earth generated so much good energy it put dinosaur energy to shame.
 Brown’s response to the March. bad, I think he is too far gone. Politics has a strange way of changing even the best people with best intentions into someone you hardly recognize.
IMG_2495This is David Kooi on the right Cuesta College organizers for Students against Fracking with fellow student Chloe on the step of  Oakland City Hall where Brown walked every day when he was Mayor.

Inline image 3

Jesse Cal Poly student against Fracking organizer.


​This is very special. Grandfather and the future generation.​


​ 2 more States just joined the strike. Oil is creating jobs nobody wants.
​This is Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
I explained that our BOS does not exactly understand
the Health implications of Fracking and have refused
to invite the Health Commission in on the Fracking
conversation. This group headed up by Barbara Sattler RN,DR.PH,
FAAN, Professor out of the University of San Francisco school of Nursing and
Health Professionals said she would be glad to come and explain the
health impacts from fracking if our Board is interested. Is our Board interested?
All the people here concerned about their health and safety and future generations. All taking our duty and responsibility as stewards of the earth very seriously.   How can  Brown not get this? Does he really trust the oil industry more than he trusts us?  If Brown ignores this contingency, No Nukes, that he vowed to shut down on June 30, 1979 then he is choosing to break his promise. He knows the right thing to do.
And he has the power to do it. He has the power to Shut down Diablo.
He has the power to Ban Fracking. He has the power to stop the oil
trains. It is the power we the people gave him when we elected him
to keep California a Safe and Beautiful place for generations to come.
It is called the power of the pen. We give him permission to use that power now.
Two interesting things in this pic. Off to the left
the object that looks like a tree with speakers
coming out it is is the pedal power generator.It is
generating the power for the mic. And then notice
the sign in the back? San Diego was there. Amazing
group down there. Communities not immediately threatened
by fracking but joining in Solidarity the right to a healthy
0fficers copyjpg
The officers were standing in a group looking very isolated. I asked them if there would be escorting us down main street and they said yes. I asked if they would mind if we took a picture with them and they were most accommodating. Chloe is on my right and this was her first march. I don’t think it will be here last. I thanked them and  I think they appreciated being recognized. Really who doesn’t?  It was a  good day.
The convergence after the Rally was so amazing.
We heard first hand info from the organizers on how they got Cuomo to sign a ban on Fracking in New York. Local actions were key.
An amazing attorney, Madeline Stano, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment talked about strategies and how the oil companies think. She is currently working with the locals in Kern county who have had they water poisoned, air polluted and rigs built within a hundred feet of schools and residences. It is a nasty ugly situation.
I talked to her after and she graciously agreed to look over a draft for an ordinance we are working on in SLO.
David Brawn who was part of the New York to ban fracking campaign loves SLO and  is anxious to help us with our campaign.Neighboring communities, Santa Barbara, Monterey,  San Diego, Butte,  are all about helping each other out. We are all in this together.
​And here is a very nice synopsis of the trip by Marty Brown.
The morning was dark and rainy. Participators from North County met the bus to Oakland at 6:45 a.m.

We joined people from San Luis Obispo and our coordinator and spokesperson, Jeanne Blackwell, an energetic and energizing   leader.


There was excitement and good feeling on the bus. We were united for an important cause. We learned more details about fracking later after the march when a panel discussion at  Laney College was held
by activists who were successful in the banning of fracking in New York State, a journalist who has written for The Nation and other progressive publications, and a lawyer who has served people in Kern County who
have been physically and psychologically damaged by oil drilling —  some located very close to schools and homes.

The trip was rainy all the way – skies dark.  When we arrived in downtown Oakland, there was a clearing and the sun shown.  The buses arrived from as far south as San Diego and as far north as Humboldt.


There was mutual respect between the police and demonstrators.  Along the march route we passed many spectators who were aligned with us.  People in tall apartment and hotel buildings cheered us on. There was only one anti-anti fracking and climate change denier demonstration held by maybe five men with signs saying “Climate Change is a Lie”.


The march ended with a rally at Merritt Lake Park where indigenous people spoke and offered prayers.  There were Pacific Islanders who were losing their land to rising sea levels, Native Americans and Latinos, people from agricultural areas and poverty whose health, homes and property have been affected and continue to be
affected by fracking that is already taking place.
I felt there was no place I’d rather be than there at that time with 8,000 Californians who say NO! to fracking and want real climate change action by those we have trusted with our future.  It was encouraging to be outnumbered or at least matched by young people — it was not a grey-haired convention as it often is.  Students from Cal Poly, Cuesta College and UCSD, Humboldt State, UCSB and others were marching with us and had such energy and optimism.
Alternative, sustainable energy technology was widely discussed.  There is no reason to keep polluting our Mother Earth.  One of the speakers from the Catskills Citizens who were the driving force behind having Governor Cuomo signing onto the ban in New York State said education is a big factor in getting climate action, and doing the research, telling the truth, using the science.
The young Cuesta student I was seated next to on the bus said, “It was a life-changing event in my  life.”  That was the first demonstration that she has been a part of — hopefully the first of many more. (She was sitting next to Chloe)

Hope this was helpful.



SLO Clean Water
The safety of the people is the supreme law. Bacon’s Max. in Reg. 12; Broom’s Max. 1.  Prevention is better than cure. Co. Litt. 304.  “In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell.


Newsletter #26 Hot Time in the OLE Town Tonite

Public Invited wholeheartedly!!!!

January 23 – Friday – Mothers for Peace hosting Diablo issue meeting of the minds and heart Library 6pm-9pm.

Sorry this got out a little late. But here’s a recap.  It was so alive with energy. Film of the 1986 sit-in at Diablo, Gov Brown promising to keep nuclear out, a wall of Poly professors against Diablo 3 or 4 of which were there last nite with what looked like the original poster. Wow.

My darn camera was not working. I hope someone posts the pics.

Activists from the original sit-in more alive, vibrant and beautiful today than they were 30 years ago. Real people, real music, real talk, smiles,  and the most beautiful sight, not a suit in the crowd.

A couple of  characters standing in the back of the room, arms crossed, scows on their face, perfectly groomed, crisp shirts, creased pants, looked like they just came from a weekend of pampered pleasures and looked strangely out of place. This was a crowd of veteran grassroot activists delighting in each others company and sharing a moment with everyone in the room.  The creased pants did not stick around.

Oh my. This just does a heart good. A community rising. We are going to bear witness to the righting of a wrong.  So proud to be part of this community.

January 28 – Wednesday- Sierra Club meeting of the minds  Steynberg Local Environmental Groups Planning for 2015 7pm. More good energy.

Oil train meeting  Library community room  Feb 4 –  7pm. Forest Ethics & Sierra Club hosting.

Feburary 7 Bus to Oakland –

The county planning dept where many of these issues seem to originate is very busy, prompting last minute changes, delays and rescheduling. Staff is very busy. Just keeping up with reports, data, meeting and scheduling, public comments and alerting the public of these meetings is a full time job.

We rely on local activists, volunteers and community groups staying on top of this very active and involved community. We trust and so appreciate their boundless energy and dedication. There are many issues facing our community that will impact each and everyone one of us for many years to come.

Diablo, Santa Margarita quarry, Nipomo Spur, housing issues, coastal issues, inland issues, Community Choice Aggragate, open space, closed space, door knobs, sorry that was something from Fawlty Towers, and of course my favorite, banning extreme unconventional, enhanced oil drilling that will compound beyond our worst nightmare  the ever pressing issue of water and lack thereof.

We all do what we can when we can because we care.  Every effort makes a difference. It all counts. If you are not into Board of Supervisor or city council meetings, planning dept, water resource boards, or other fun things but want to do something that will make a difference, I have just the job for you.

Coming up on Feb 7 we are filling a bus and heading to Oakland. This bus will represent San Luis Obispo County. If you would like to be one of the representatives for SLO county, population 276,443 and could spare one Saturday letting Governor Brown know we are alive and well and are looking forward to his proudest moment as leader and Governor of California by announcing he will sign an executive order to prohibit, ban, bar, any Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, Superfund, Community-Right-to-Know, National Environmental Policy, Resource Conservation and Recovery, exempted oil drilling operation from setting up shop in California, then hop on this bus.

Our State and all its resources are too valuable and precious to turn over to an industry that has no sense of beauty or appreciation for the finer things in life.  Jump on board.   Sign up. The  agenda is there too.

There will be a meet and greet with other communities and activists throughout California sharing their ideas, campaigns, successes and strategies. A real melding pot.

We will return home and within a week, lord willing, we will all get together and collect our thoughts and launch the campaign for a countywide initiative that will be on the ballot this year. No ifs, ands or buts. This is it. This year is all about what we can do.

There are 30 seats left.   By the end of the week I will need to send in the final payment for the bus.  So, if you have never done anything like this before, want to do something but don’t know what or how you can help keep our home sweet home, safe and sound, this is your chance. There is a first time for everything.  We are not opposed to the idea that money talks. So if you are not able to come you can donate a seat or seats and that  works too. Thanks.
Local actions in Cambria, Arroyo Grande, Paso, San Luis and all points in between seem ultimately to come down to the politics of governing. And governing is all about a safe, healthy, inherently prosperous living environment.

We are entering a very very unique time in our history and it is very very exciting.

The future is grounded in Ecological economics.  A growing transdisciplinary field that aims to improve and expand economic theory to integrate the earth’s natural systems, human values and human health and well-being. We are operating in an ecological deficient, wasting limited resources at an unsustainable rate.  Natural resources, air, water, land is the foundation on which wealth is built. Contaminated water, suffocating air, dead and unproductive land equates to economic collapse. We are making sure that does not happen on our watch.

Bulgarian leadership, dead set against a ban 3 years ago, just signed onto a fracking ban. Public pressure did it. It  works.

Mora County, New Mexico, first county in the country to do a countrywide ban is getting sued by the oil companies. No surprise. And it is a good thing. This will go to the State Supreme Court, like Colorado’s ban and the people’s right to a clean and healthy environment will prevail and set precedent and then we win for future generations.

New York already did it. The tide has turned.  And if we are really lucky it will go to the U.S. Supreme court and all this nonsense about corporations are people will come to head the same time as the amendment to overturn Citizen’s United comes to a vote in Congress. Then we have a legacy we can be proud to past onto our kids.

None of this is an accident. We are making it happen. It will take every single one of us doing something, somehow and that’s how we win. Did I mention there is a bus going to Oakland on Feb. 7th?  Sign up here.

$30 will get you a piece of history with your name on it.


​Alright folks that’s it for now. Let’s do this.