Central California Environmental Justice Network
Project Coordinator, Gustavo Aguirre Jr
Stop the Frack Attack National Summit Oct 3rd-5th Denver, CO.
Stop the Frack Attack National Summit is a national gathering of organizations and advocates that work from different spectrums such as grassroots community organizing, tribal/Native American reservation organizing and policy work around Oil & Gas at all levels. This year’s summit occurred in Denver, Colorado with participation from over 30 different states and regions representing different strategies on organizing. This three day event is filled with workshops, lectures and panels from experts that organize and work around Oil & Gas operations such as Fracking. The workshops and lectures are then followed by a day of action, where Direct Action is taken to the streets and a demonstration is mobilized to the State Capitol.
Stop the Frack Attack national summit is a series in events that lead to the “Global FrackDown to Paris” event in Paris, France at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. The efforts set forth by Food and Water Watch organization since 2012, has led to national summits here in the United States in different states where Fracking is actively being conducted. Central California Environmental Justice Network (CCEJN) Organizer Gustavo Aguirre Jr was in attendance at the most recent –Stop the Frack Attack- summit in Denver, Colorado. Gustavo Aguirre Jr is the Project Coordinator for Kern Environmental Enforcement Network (KEEN), a community based reporting network from Central California’s Kern County, where 95% of all state fracking permits are granted for Fracking. This is significant because the KEEN network was one of the first networks that yielded a Fracking related violation in the State of California. In 2012 a local almond farmer in Shafter, CA reported and recorded an oil & gas company discharging waste water –or Fracking backflow- to KEEN and the Regional Water Quality Control Board and found this company in violations. Since 2012, farmers, community members, and organizations have been monitoring fracking operations in the County of Kern that included waste water discharging, injection wells, flaring, and crude by rail. CCEJN has also signed on to a letter of support to Ban Fracking that includes over 900 organizations world-wide including 56 countries and 38 states in the U.S. to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change this year.
Gustavo Aguirre Jr also participated in the Day of Action on Monday following the 2-day workshop series in Denver. Gustavo Aguirre Jr was proud to stand in front of over 200 fellow Anti-fracking activists at the Denver State Capitol to share stories of how fracking has affected the Central Valley community in California. Gustavo shared stories from fellow community residents and leaders who live and work near fracking and oil & gas operations and in some cases, residents that live fence line to these facilities. Gus shared his work around the Arvin Pipeline Leak and the families that were evacuated for almost a year due to pipeline leak directly underneath their homes.
This all comes in time where Kern County Board of Supervisors is set to hold a special meeting on November 9th 2015 for public comment on the Counties Oil & Gas D.E.I.R or Draft Environmental Impact Report. The County intends intent to change zoning laws and help fast-track permitting process for the oil industry. This is something that we find very troubling. One reason why this is a big concern to organizations that work directly with communities members is because it clearly overlooks any environmental justice concern that might rise in the wave of permits for the next 25 years. In that time, over 60 thousand permits are expected to be issued in approximately 3,000 square miles; this includes Fracking permits and other extreme methods of oil extraction. We are asking for community residents and state wide organizations to join us in this day of action November 9th 2015. Several organizations from across the state have already rallied to get buses organized to come join us in Kern on the 9th –will you join us? We ask that concerned citizens from across the valley and state join us that the Board of Supervisors special meeting happening on Nov 9th 2015. For any questions please contact Gustavo Aguirre Jr at Gustavo.firstname.lastname@example.org or at 661-889-1917.