Today, the California Senate Appropriations Committee approved, in a vote of 4-2, a bill to place a moratorium on fracking in the state (SB1132). The bill now moves to a vote on the Senate floor. Senators Gaines and Walters voted agains the bill while Senators deLeón, Padilla, Hill and Steinberg voted to advance the bill to the floor.
As usual, those voting against safeguarding the public interest and in favor of Big Oil's wishes have received far more in Big Oil political contributions than those voting in favor of climate and community safety and against dangerous oil extraction processes.
(See the dirty details after the break)
The numbers (according to Oil Change International's Dirty Energy Money database) tell the story:
- On average, Senators voting against the moratorium have received nearly 3 times as much in Big Oil contributions than those voting for it.
- The two Senators voting against the moratorium have received over $110k in Big Oil money combined (Sen. Walters = $82k, Sen. Gaines = $29k)
As the vote comes to the California Senate floor in the coming days, you can be sure the oil industry will put the pressure on. The question is whether the members of the California Senate will listen to the people, who recent polls show resoundingly support a moratorium on fracking, or the Big Oil benefactors lining their campaign coffers.
And, of course, Governor Brown could also step in any time now and enact a ban on fracking in the State...but so far he appears to be listening to his Big Oil friends as well.
With reports showing the bonanza that Big Oil wants Californians believe is largely a fantasy, and two-thirds of Californians supporting a stop to fracking in the state, Big Oil is on its heels. It's time the people's voice was heard over rustle of Big Oil dollars.