Credo Action

Tell Gov. Jerry Brown: Commit California to no new fossil fuels

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The petition to California Gov. Jerry Brown reads:

"Commit California to no new fossil fuels and put us on a path to real action on climate change and healthier communities."

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    Tell Gov. Jerry Brown: Commit California to no new fossil fuels

    This Saturday, Sept. 8, thousands of people will descend on the streets of San Francisco to march for climate action days before Gov. Jerry Brown convenes a global climate action summit in the city.

    Gov. Brown wants to be remembered as a climate champion.1 He called climate change an "apocalyptic threat," and he has been a loud critic of the Trump administration's climate inaction.2 Yet Brown has long refused to deal with the giant elephant in his own backyard: California's oil problem. His administration has issued more than 20,000 new oil drilling permits in California.3

    With only months remaining in his term as governor, this is Gov. Brown's last chance to demonstrate real climate leadership. Can you help us use this weekend's march and next week's summit to demand that Brown finally walk the walk on climate change?4

    Tell Gov. Brown: Commit California to no new fossil fuels.

    With all his posturing about climate leadership, Gov. Brown has done nothing to curb oil production in his state. In fact, he has repeatedly taken steps to aid the oil and gas industry – at the cost of Californians' health and safety.5

    The science is clear: To avoid devastating climate change, we must keep remaining oil reserves in the ground. If Gov. Brown wants a legacy of true leadership, he must finally take bold action to address fossil fuels before he leaves office.

    For a long time, Gov. Brown managed to claim to be an environmentalist while also supporting the oil industry. Just last year, he pushed through a flawed "cap and trade" climate bill that was partially written by the Western States Petroleum Association – the most powerful special-interest group in the state.6 In the past, he demanded that state regulators fast-track permits for oil projects despite a federal order to crack down on egregious safety violations. When two state regulators refused to ignore that federal order, he fired them.7

    But it's not too late for Gov. Brown to take the bold and visionary steps that this crisis calls for. CREDO and our partners in the Brown's Last Chance coalition are pushing Gov. Brown to act before the summit. The group has three demands for Gov. Brown:8

    • No new permits for oil or gas drilling, fossil fuel infrastructure, or petrochemical projects, whether onshore or offshore.
    • A phase-out of current oil and gas production.
    • A fair and equitable transition that protects workers and communities, starting in places that are suffering most from dirty fuel extraction and infrastructure.

    This is what true climate leadership would look like. If Gov. Brown uses his office and global influence to take real action, he could protect the health and safety of 39 million Californians – and create a safer and more equitable future for billions of people around the world. We no longer have time for half-steps. We need to keep oil in the ground.

    Tell Gov. Brown: Commit California to no new fossil fuels.


    1. Judith Lewis Mernit, "Will California's dirty oil business soil Governor Jerry Brown's climate legacy?" Newsweek, Aug. 21, 2018.
    2. Andy Rowell, "Jerry Brown Warns of 'Apocalyptic Threat' of Climate Change, But Carries on Drilling," Common Dreams, Aug. 28, 2018.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Brown's Last Chance coalition, "Brown's last chance," accessed Sept. 4, 2018.
    5. Michael J. Mishak, "Big Oil’s grip on California," The Center for Public Integrity, Feb. 13, 2017.
    6. Kate Aronoff, "California Gov. Jerry Brown Is Backing a Climate Bill Full of Giveaways to Polluters," In These Times, July 14, 2017.
    7. Mishak, "Big Oil’s grip on California."
    8. Brown's Last Chance coalition, "Brown's last chance."