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By Suzanne Potter
December 3, 2021
LOS ANGELES — California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the groups Amazon Watch and Stand.earth. Now, organizations fighting climate change are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to end oil imports from the Amazon region.
Paul Koretz, member of the Los Angeles City Council, said California should not be a party to the destruction of a region that sequesters a huge amount of carbon and circulates 20% of the world’s oxygen.
“As the Amazon is being logged, burned and drilled, and converted to other land uses, we’re losing more and more of it,” Koretz pointed out. “And at some point, it could cause climate change to be impossible to reverse.”
At the recent climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, California joined the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, an organization committed to an oil-free future.
On Earth Day this year, the governor committed to end fracking in the state by 2024 and all oil production by 2045. In October, Newsom proposed a 3,200-foot buffer zone for all new wells near residential neighborhoods. The oil industry claims the moves will cost the state jobs and tax revenue.
The group Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA) is circulating an online petition, asking the governor to phase out oil production even faster and commit the state to 100% clean energy in all sectors.
Dominic Frongillo, co-founder and executive director of EOPA, said the state must defeat its oil addiction.
“California can ramp down production, increase use of clean cars, phase out oil drilling locally, and aggressively invest in a transition to clean energy,” Frongillo asserted. “We won’t need that oil.”
According to Greenpeace, the Amazon Basin sequesters 100 billion metric tons of carbon, more than ten times the amount of global emissions from fossil fuels.
References: Oil import report Amazon Watch/Stand.earth 12/02/2021
COP26 conference United Nations 2021
Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance 2021
Fracking announcment Office of the Governor 04/23/2021
Draft rule Calif. Dept. of Conservation 2021
Petition EOPA Calif. 2021
Rainforest data Greenpeace 2021