Fracking Protest in Long Beach

MONDAY — Fracking Protest — TODAY!!  — January 6

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, a protest of the ongoing push by California’s government to enable this state’s oil industry to engage in the drilling and oil extracting process known as fracking will take place at the California State University, Long Beach campus today, Monday, January 6 at 2 p.m. The protest is scheduled to last an hour.

Given that Los Angeles just had the lowest level of rainfall in any year since weather records were kept in 1877, it’s hard to believe that an industrial practice that would devour huge amounts of fresh water is being allowed to gain a foothold in this state with so little public discussion. To call hearings held before most people have even finished returning from work and eating dinner a “public” hearing verges on the absurd. I realize almost no one reading this blog will find out about this protest in time to attend, but I feel as if I have to go on record as at least supporting this effort.

The decision to hold tomorrow’s meeting at a time when school is not in session is also not an accident. I suppose one could argue that if the meeting was to take place during the semester, then there would not be much in the way of parking for the public, but given the hours the meeting is being held at, it’s very questionable whether there would be much need for public parking. I rather suspect that the last thing the oil industry wants is to have a large segment of justifiably concerned young people protesting the environmental destruction of this state.

As for the argument that fracking will restore California prosperity, I do not hear anyone in the oil industry advocating that California adopt the same kind of oil extraction tax that is used to sustain higher education in Texas and Wyoming. California, in fact, is the only state that is a major oil producer without an oil extraction tax. The fact that the industry doesn’t want to pony up even as it engages in yet even more risky environmental practices sums up the notoriously selfish agenda of the corporations involved with oil production.