Oil, Gas and Fracking

"As an organizer I know that the only way we are going to create change is with one united voice, like we did with Cesar Chavez. If Cesar was here, he'd be telling Governor Brown to do the right thing."  

Lupe Martinez, organizer and CRPE Assistant Director

Surprising to many, Kern County in the San Joaquin Valley, produces 75% of the state’s oil and is the largest oil producing county in the country.  Commercial extraction of oil began in California in 1865. Industry has been feverishly extracting this oil through several technologies one of which is known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Fracking involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and over 600 chemicals into the ground at high volumes in order to extract oil. This process consumes massive amounts of water and can pollute our air, soil and drinking water. 95% of fracking in California takes place in Kern County and the practice is expanding.

Kern County is also a agricultural region, where the community is largely immigrant, people of color and low income. Therefore, the impacts of the fracking and all oil drilling sits at the intersection of environmental destruction, public health concerns and racial discrimination. Despite recent attempts to reign in fracking and other dangerous oil drilling techniques, it remains a largely unregulated practice in California.

CRPE is working with Valley residents to shine a light on the negative health impacts of oil extraction. e. We believe the residents most impacted must lead the conversation and make the decisions that affect their communities. Our work began by provided trainings to impacted communities in order to share vital information on fracking and new drilling technologies entering the San Joaquin Valley. As a result of this work, these community members have become local leaders, meeting with key decision makers, speaking at rallies and providing interviews to state-wide media.

CRPE has since taken the fight to ban fracking and protect residents from dangerous drilling pollution to the state,national and international level. We have consistently taken cue from the local communities to host rallies and actions that have reached the Governor’s office. This includes the March for Real Climate Leadership in 2015 in which thousands of people gathered in Oakland to ask Governor Brown to be accountable to all Californians and honor his promises to transition the state to a 50% clean energy economy.

Read more about our client Rodrigo Romo’s lawsuit citing racial discrimination to Latino schoolchildren because of the disproportionate impacts of fracking in Kern County (Link to Romo v. Brown page).

In 2015 we partnered with 350.org and Survival Media Agency, to tell the story of fracking, climate change and drought in the San Joaquin Valley. In the past year, the film Growing Resistance (link to Growing Resistance page), has won multiple awards and been screened internationally.


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