• Lauren Windsor

Fracked Up in San Francisco


Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Undercurrent reporter Lauren Windsor, right. June 1, 2019. San Francisco, CA.

The political world has been abuzz over the Green New Deal since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined the Sunrise Movement in a protest inside Nancy Pelosi's office last November. Its detractors liken the non-binding climate change resolution to radical socialism, but for many of its supporters, the resolution doesn't go far enough. Specifically, the Green New Deal doesn't explicitly call for the elimination of fossil fuels, leaving room for debate as to timelines and acceptable sources of energy, of which natural gas is the most problematic example. (Democrats historically have embraced the so-called "bridge" fuel as a middle-ground approach to solving climate change, but methane leaks wipe out the emissions advantage over coal, and fracking pollutes water tables.) So last weekend I teamed up with Food & Water Action to produce a series of videos questioning presidential candidates and Golden State politicos on fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure at the California Democratic Party Convention in San Francisco. In the first clip below, I talk to Gov. Jay Inslee; Sen. Cory Booker; Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Hill, Mike Levin, and Ro Khanna; and former governor John Hickenlooper, known as "Frackenlooper" among environmental activists for his love of fracking (he once drank fracking fluid to prove it was safe). The Hickenlooper interview was a tough one to get, run-and-gun through convention crowds and all.


In the second video, I get some answers from Gov. Gavin Newsom on when he will close the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility that massively blew out in late 2015/early 2016. At last year's convention, Newsom, then gubernatorial candidate, promised me he was committed to shutting it down. This is a high priority for environmental activists in the state.


Like The Undercurrent for more reporting on the Green New Deal throughout the 2020 election cycle.



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