Exclusive to The Benicia Independent
[Editor: Thanks to Benician Judi Sullivan for her monitoring of California Senate hearings and for this report. – RS]
Report on Anti-Fracking Bill in California SenateBy Judi Sullivan | May 19, 2014
SB 1132, The Oil and Gas Well Stimulation Bill (Anti fracking/acidizing), was put before it’s third committee today, the Appropriations Committee, and placed in the Suspense File. This is where all bills may be held if they are considered to have an annual cost of more than $150,000. Because of this stipulation, there was no official vote on the Bill. It is now under fiscal analysis to be reconsidered on Friday during the Suspense File Hearing, during which time no testimony is presented by the bill’s author nor by witnesses. A vote will then be taken and if the bill passes, it will go in front of the entire Senate.
The committee room, which was much larger than previous ones used for the first two hearings, was once again a packed house with supporters of the bill from all over the state. One woman who spoke said she took a nine hour Amtrak Train from L.A. just to be there to testify against fracking. ALL of the public testimonies given were in support of the bill. The Western States Petroleum Association, (WSPA), which is the biggest, wealthiest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento, was the official testifying opponent.
In the course of conversation at the hearing, it was revealed that Conservative Republican Senator Ted Gaines, who appears to be against SB 1132, may become a new supporter of “No Crude by Rail.” He lives in Roseville, and has recently become seriously concerned about the transportation risks of that commodity. Roseville is a major hub of Crude by Rail’s route.
Senator Pavley, (supported by Senators Wolk and Lara) presented SB 1319, promoting “Oil Spill Prevention Response,” seeking regulations for Marine, Pipeline and Crude by Rail Transports to be under one regulation which would include having local governments informed of what is being transported through their areas at any given time.
According to her findings, Governor Brown is forming a new staff of 38 people to deal with the concerns of this Bill.
After the hearing sessions, some of the anti-fracking supporters rallied with posters and chanting in front of The California History Museum on “O” St. where Governor Brown was speaking at a Conference concerning Climate Change.
—— Later ——
Just got a request suggesting calling these Senators to try and gain their support, asking them to vote yes on SB 1132:
Senator Kevin De Leon (916) 651-4022
Senator Ricardo Lara (916) 651-4033
Senator Ed Hernandez (916) 651-4024
Senator Cathleen Galliano (916) 651-4005
Senator Ben Hueso (916) 651-4040
Senator Lou Correa (916) 651-4034
Senator Carol Liu (916) 651-4025
Senator Richard Roth (916) 651-4031
Senator Norma Torres (916-652-4032
If SB 1132 passes the Senate vote, the four committee hearing process will start all over again in the Assembly. If it passes there, then Governor Brown will have his vote. I have talked with Senator Mitchell’s and Senator Leno’s staff, the main co-sponsors of this bill, and both recommend calling Governor Brown’s office right now to demonstrate public support on this crucial issue. Writing to him is also an option.
Brown has the power to pass or veto the bill. I feel it would be wise to call him. His phone number is (916) 445-2841. As we know, he has received substantial donations from Big Oil.