SAN DIEGO – A San Diego high school principal has convinced dozens of students to trek to Oakland with a group of environmental activists in an attempt to pressure Gov. Jerry Brown into issuing a moratorium on fracking in California.
Assistant principal Keith Fowler told The San Diego Union-Tribune about 40 students – many who he taught in an environmental justice class at King-Chavez Community High School – became very concerned about fracking, and jumped at the chance to participate in the anti-fracking “March for Real Climate Leadership” in Oakland this weekend.
“They have a very straightforward moral compass,” Fowler said. “They’re being told to have shorter showers and conserve water, and here’s a half a million gallons per well being used and toxified with benzenes and petroleum distillates.”
The students are expected to join about 100 environmental activists from San Diego who will board a bus Friday bound for Oakland, where Gov. Jerry Brown previously served as mayor. The trip, organized by the group SanDiego350, plan to march with others from around the state at 8:30 a.m. before heading back to San Diego, according to the news site.
The goal is to pressure Brown into imposing a ban of fracking, a “controversial” oil extraction method that’s been used for decades, and instead promote renewable energy, organizers told the Union-Tribune.
Peg Mitchell, head of SanDiego350, said the “24-hour marathon trip” will be “well worth the time and effort,” the news site reports.
“We are asking that the governor put a minimum or stop to fracking at least until the drought is declared over,” she said. “Many of us want him to ban fracking altogether. We believe that in addition to the fact that it is a method for worsening climate change, the environmental effects are too horrific.”
Mitchell didn’t detail what those horrific environmental effects entail.
Numerous other “student” groups are also supporting the march.
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They include Students Against Fracking, as well as its campus branches at Cal State Bakersfield and UC Berkeley, UCSB Students Against Fracking, Fossil Free SFSU, Fossil Free UCLA and Fossil Free SCU, as well as more well-known groups like Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and the United Auto Workers union, according to the march website.
Organizers will be busing students and others to Oakland from 22 California cities including Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Sacramento, Palo Alto and others.
In an “Open Letter to the People of California,” event organizers write that “over the last four years, Governor Brown has not delivered on his promise to put our water and health first” despite a similar event last March in which “4,000 people rallied in Sacramento urging Governor Brown to end fracking.”
“Hey @JerryBrownGov – there’s a big march in Oakland on Saturday,” 350 dot org taunted on Twitter this week, “and we’re inviting you to join.”