Newsletter #51- Spectacular 2016 year in the works

I hope you all enjoyed a well deserved, peaceful, restful, joyous holiday and are anxious and excited for all the wonders and adventures that await our embrace this New Year.

This promises to be the year that was.  We are in for the ride of our lives and it is going to take everything we got and everyone we know to make it spectacular!!!!!

The word is out this is the place to be this year. It is happening Big Time in SLO.

Activist super stars are coming from far and wide to join in making our impossible dreams a dream come true, to fight the unbeatable foe, to right the unrightable wrong, and reach that unreachable star.  Oh yea that is our quest and it is going to be a dazzling display with a few fireworks to be sure!!!!!

Things are going to be changing on a dime and we have to be able to react in unity and solidarity, like a school of barracudas with their PhD’s.  Every single issue coming up is a top priority and crucial for our future well being.
Starting us off

Could you host, put up fellow activist coming in from around California to help us stop the oil trains?

 

 

Hi friends,

I wanted to send out the form to sign up to host an oil train activist coming from out of town for the public hearings Feb 4 & 5. Please sign up if you think you can host & we will match you with

potential guests.
-Valerie

Center for Biological Diversity

Oil Train Campaign coordinator

 

#2 ​Stopping the Oil Trains dead in their tracks.  Everything you need to know

 

⬇︎⬇︎⬇︎⬇
https://www.facebook.com/events/1013739535350812/

The hearing will take place Thursday, February 4th and Friday, Feb 5th. Doors open at 8 A.M. Board of Supervisors Chambers 1055 Monterey St, both days and it is crucial that individuals who want to speak arrive as early as possible. There will also be a rally held on Thursday Feb 4th at 12 P.M. (Noon).

Sign up to speak even if you don’t plan on speaking. They may put a time limit on speakers who need more than a minute to get their point across. You can give them your minute because you are there and have a minute to give.

This is a modern day San Luis Obispo version of the running of bulls http://www.bullrunpamplona.com/ If ever you wanted to run with Bulls this is your golden opportunity. We are going to corral that iron horse and it is going to be spectacular!!!   Spectacular seems the optimal word.

 

OIL TRAIN HEARING
FEBRUARY 4 & 5 (thurs. & fri.)
1055 Monterey St
Board of Supervisors chamber

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

#3​ and just in

 

Developers are trying to horn in on the California Coastal Commission and make it theirs by getting Dr. Lester fired.     Need everyone to do all of the following and pass this around to at least ten people. Or if you belong to a group or organization with a list pass it off to them and that counts as your ten.  Our precious coastline, marine

sanctuary, allowing offshore drilling is on the line. Dr. Lester needs to stay and developers need to go away. Here’s the story http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0124-lopez-coastal-commission-20160124-column.html  Do all of the following.

The Commission has set up a specific email account to receive comment.

Send an email letter today to the California Coastal Commission, Attention Chair Steve Kinsey, at this address: StatusOfExecutiveDirector@coastal.ca.gov  You can enclose an 8 x 10 glossy photo (or digital facsimile) of our spectacular Coastline.  They will get the picture – worth a 1,000 words.

— Share your love of the coast, and why it’s important to protect public access, sensitive habitats and marine resources, and scenic view sheds

— Commend Dr. Lester for his courage to demand a public hearing allowing the public to weigh in on this shameful attempt to fire him

— Commend the entire staff at the Coastal Commission for their tireless dedication and public service under difficult conditions

— Tell the Commission to stop this baseless power grab for developers and get busy protecting our coast instead

Attend the hearing and lend your support!
10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10
Inn at Morro Bay
60 State Park Road
Morro Bay, CA

Petitions being circulated: Sign them.
http://petitions.moveon.org/…/dont-terminate-ca-coastal…

https://secured.surfrider.org/action/engagement…

 

Sign the petition: Don’t Terminate CA Coastal Commission Executive…

petitions.moveon.org

 

And finally latest on
The Arroyo Grande Oil Fields. Freeport McMoRan.

 

It is no secret oil prices are at their lowest point in 13 years $27 a barrel and the market is in turmoil. Freeport purchased the Arroyo Grande Oil in its hay day when oil was at $110 a barrel.  They were going to make a killing, shares were @ $60.

That ship has sailed and is sinking like a rock with shares now at @ $4.  Freeport is looking to abandon ship. Sending out an SOS. Sell the Oil Fields Stat or go down with the ship.  Freeport filing for bankruptcy

 

They need to unload the Oil fields. Asking price. 4-5 billion dollars. Just one little minor detail. This property is worthless without a permit to drill for oil. Even then it is going to be a hard sell because oil is never going to see $100 or $80 or $70 a barrel again in its lifetime.

It may turn out to be a fire sale even with a permit.  A permit will facilitate a sale and leave us trying to resuscitate a dead horse that breathed its last breath a million years ago and maintain a billion plus gallons of toxic waste sitting on an active fault line.

Unless, we demand that the hemorrhaging of our natural resources and lethal injection of toxic waste into our backyard stops right now.  The contamination has to stop now before we become the next Flint, Michigan.

Oil drilling is never going to be safe or economically viable to this community ever again. It is nothing but a source of constant anxiety, fear and threat to our safety, health and well being.

Currently, Freeport is operating without an agreement or permit or license yet they are still extracting our water, using our back yard as a toxic waste dump and releasing toxins into the air.  Why?  Operating without a permit is illegal. So why are they still drilling and dumping?

It appears, strangely enough, the only reasonable explanation why they are still drilling and dumping is because no body has told them to stop. No records indicating they have been served a cease and desist order or warned they are in violation of an expired permit.

​We can and will remedy that oversight.

Now that we know the problem we can concentrate all our energies on the solution and that is exactly what we are doing.

 

The solution is in the works and exciting updates forthcoming.  We have waited 3 long years to get to this critical point of departure and we are closer than we have ever been. Legal solutions are always the best and most binding. The cosmos are conspiring to shower us with everything we need. Stay tuned.

 

Recap

Host an activtist form to sign up to host an oil train activist

 

OIL TRAIN HEARING
8 a.m. – 5 p.m. FEBRUARY 4 & 5 (thurs. & fri.)
1055 Monterey St
Board of Supervisors chamber

 

California Coastal Commission hearing
10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, FEBRUARY 10
Inn at Morro Bay
60 State Park Road
Morro Bay, CA

 

Thank you all.

It is happening and it is spectacular!​

Correction: Public comment format

Would like to thank Eric Greening for clarifying the public comment formats coming up on both the oil train and coastal commission hearings. It is as always very accurate and helpful. Didn’t know about getting a number so you can figure out when you are going to get called. I am going to cut and paste the information.  Thank you Eric.

1. The oil train hearings will not allow people to donate time to each other, but each speaker WILL be given 3 minutes if the person needs it; that is the word from the chair as of yesterday’s PC meeting.  The 3 minutes will be strictly enforced, so if you are partway through an amazing sentence when the red light shines, you may not get to finish that sentence.  Speaker signups will begin at 8:00 am the 4th, and speakers will get a number showing where in the lineup one is.  This can help those who need to get back to work until it is getting to where their name will be called.  No matter when one signs up to speak, there is likely to be a significant interval between signup and being called forward.  The first speakers may get called as early as 11:00 or 11:30, or perhaps not until the afternoon session at 1:30.  At 9:00, when the meeting starts, there will be a staff presentation (which is worth listening to; staff did their homework on this!!), followed by Commission questions of staff.  Then the applicant will make a presentation, and may get more questions from the Commission.

The first “public” speakers are to be representatives of jurisdictions and agencies: mayors, other public officials from locations near and far, first responders from jurisdictions near and far, the Council of Governments, the Air Pollution Control District, possibly a railroad or two.  These folks have been told to be available between 10:45 and noon, and they may take up the entire period, or it may open to general public before lunch; that depends on how many of them there are, and on whether the Commission has questions for them. (I wouldn’t be surprised if they had questions for emergency responders.) Then, before or after lunch, the public speakers with numbers will be called in order, each allowed three minutes, but encouraged to use less if their comments are a repeat of what someone else said. (Better to say: “I share the concerns of so-and-so about such-and-such.”)

The Coastal Commission hearing on the 10th is another matter.  There, it is quite possible that each speaker will be allowed only one minute, but at the Coastal Commission, unlike the Planning Commission, it is possible for someone to donate time to someone else, as long as both people are present when the transaction is made.  Murgatroyd Aigletinger, perhaps, would step forward, and say: Archibald and Reginald Skeezix have each donated me a minute.” At that point, the chair will ask Archie and Reggie to identify themselves, and only if they are present, have filed speaker slips, and confirm their status as donators will Murgatroyd get three minutes.

 

 

SLO City Council Advocates for County Fracking Ban

City Council Meeting January 7, 2014

 Press Release

January 8, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jeanne Blackwell, jeannewater@gmail.com

SLO City Council Advocates for County Fracking Ban

At its January 7 meeting, the San Luis Obispo City Council voted to include a provision in its 2014 legislative platform urging the County to prohibit hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for oil and gas in the unincorporated areas of the county.

“We can’t thank the city council enough for realizing there’s no escaping the impacts of fracking outside city limits and taking leadership on this issue,” said SLO Clean Water Action organizer Jeanne Blackwell, who led the effort to urge the City to take a position on fracking and testified at the Jan. 7 meeting. “We hope the County gets the message as soon as possible and puts a prohibition in place to protect our water and our quality of life.”

Fracking has been at the center of controversy over environmental, seismic and public health impacts nationwide as the practice has exploded over large shale formations in recent years. Oil and gas is extracted via a largely unregulated process that injects millions of gallons of water and chemicals under pressure into fissures to extract oil or gas. Once contaminated by the process, water cannot be treated or reused. Oil and gas companies are not required to disclose the chemicals they use.

“Right now, if the County wants to protect its natural resources and its citizens, there is no alternative to a ban on fracking,” said Andrew Christie, Director of the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club. “At the federal level, the ‘Halliburton loophole’ exempts frackers from the Safe Drinking Water Act, and California’s draft fracking regulations read like they were written by oil industry lobbyists. When the regulatory structure fails at the state and federal level, it’s up to local communities to take action.”

The Monterey shale formation underlying a large portion of California is considered to be a major target for future on and offshore fracking operations. On the same day that the San Luis Obispo City Council took its stand, nine state legislators sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown urging him to “impose a moratorium on fracking while you fully investigate the science behind fracking for oil production.”

Last September, the City of Los Angeles and Santa Cruz County passed moratoriums on fracking.

Carlyn Christianson, Council Member, did also express that she has  been studying the impact of Hydraulic Fracturing on communities for some time and could answer questions about how important a countrywide ban is to protecting and safeguarding  the environmental well being of cities and municipalities within the county.

You could contact Carlyn for comment:
Carlyn Christianson Council Member
(805) 550-9320
cchristi@slocity.org

Wrap up by point person Kevin McCarthy, Thank you Kevin.
Dear Folks,
     There were about 8 speakers this evening at the SLO City Council meeting.  Thank you for your e-mails to the council.  The council was unanimous in there consensus against fracking and many of them were quite knowledgeable about the process.  Moreover, they voiced their appreciation for the many e-mails and calls that they had received, in addition to the people coming to the meeting, that expressed the increasing concern about the issue.  In the end, they adopted the more stringent wording in their recommendation to the SLO County Board of Supervisors that there should be a county-wide ban on hydraulic fracturing, i.e., they will recommend that the board of supervisors “adopt regulations to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in the county of San Luis Obispo.”  They also acknowledged that the real struggle will be at the supervisors level and moreover at the state level, but it is certainly affirming to have a local legislative body take this action. It proves that there is increasing awareness and concern about the issue.  Our thanks to Jeanne Blackwell of SLO Cleanwater Action for leading this charge and, of course, to the Council, and to you for encouraging the Council.  Please send a follow up e-mail to the SLO City Council in thanks for this support.
     I will be sending you a letter later in the week regarding our group and our current group status.
All my best,
Kevin

Just to help staff with construct of a letter I submitted the following letter for consideration to the SLO City Council for the Board of Supervisors

Dear County Board of Supervisors,

As San Luis Obispo already has an ordinance prohibiting oil drilling within city limits and whereas these protections will be infringed upon by activities in the unincorporated areas as a result of our shared resources, water, air, roadways, fault lines, The San Luis Obispo City Council on behalf of the residents, visitors and parties of interest evidenced by a petition of over a 1000 signatures are compelled to call on the County Board of Supervisors to adopt a countywide prohibition on Fracking.

Respectfully yours,

San Luis Obispo City Council

And lastly, Here is what needs to happen next.

Inline image 2

SLO City Council members voted unanimously 5-0  in favor of the  B1 issue to write a letter on behalf of the citizens of SLO calling on the Board of Supervisors to adopt a countywide BAN on Fracking. 8 people got up to speak and it was straight from the heart. Very powerful stuff.

What is so exciting and wonderful about this is the Council trail blazed the way for every city, municipality in the county,  in the State, to do the same thing.  When an entire council agrees to use their voice on behalf of their citizens and let the Board of Supervisors know about it, that’s a big Deal and doesn’t happen every day. This may be a first.

Now two things have to happen next. 1. Please let the Council know how much we appreciate their bold action, so refreshing  and  2. Who is the next city to present this to their City Council? AG? Morro? Paso? Los Osos?

You don’t have to be an expert anything to do this.  Concerned person is all the credentials you need to get started. Expert is what you are when the job is done.

If you like we could set up a meeting to get you started.  This took us about 2 months, give or take a year or two of prep work. The good news is the foundation is laid and we are ready to start building, city by city.   Contact me with the city you want to do and we will set up a meeting with all the people from your area and we will get this done.
SLO people there is no resting on our laurels. We have 4 working petitions that are also going to the Board of Supervisors along with the letters from the cities.
We need signatures on STUDENTS AGAINST FRACKING (we have 40,000 students in this county), FARMERS AGAINST FRACKING (we are an ag community that needs clean frack free water to grow our food)  CHEFS AGAINST FRACKING (how many restaurants, hotels, wineries, breweries, need fresh clean water to stay in business? All of them!) And BAN FRACKING IN SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY.
You can sign online and share it all over the place or contact me for hard copies to take to your next soiree, Farmers Market, etc.  Nancy M. got 60 signatures from Farmers in Los Osos on Monday. Way to go Nancy.   Click on links below to sign and then share.
SLO Clean Water Action. org  has posted all the videos of the council meetings.  You can watch and listen to get ideas on your 3 minute public comment. If you can’t do the city council thing then sign the petitions and commit to getting at least 10 other people to sign. We are all in this together folks .  If everybody does something so nobody has to do everything.  It’s our water, our air, our land, our oil and unless we stake claim to it right now the frackers are going to get it by default.This is a great start to a New Year and I already know exactly how I want it to end. Same way. Celebrating. Only difference, we will be celebrating as the first frack free county in the State with a Community Bill of Rights and Water Protection ordinance on the books and in full working order.

From the bottom of my pea picking heart thank you signers, attendees, speakers, press release writer, point persons, and SLO City Council.  Big HUG and pass it on.

Jeanne

P.S. I apologize for the very rough formatting above. I couldn’t get it to format paragraphs. Sorry.