For immediate release:
Contact: Bradley Angel, Greenaction for Health & Environmental Justice (415) 722-5270
Hilton Kelley, Community In-power Development Association (409) 498-1088
Environmental Justice, Community, Faith & Environmental Groups Launch Oil – Industry Makes Push to Lift Long-Time Ban
National Campaign to Uphold Congressional Ban on Export of Crude Oil!
August 20th Protests Take Place in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago
San Francisco, CA – In response to the oil industry effort to lobby Congress to lift the decades-old ban on shipping crude oil abroad, environmental justice, community, faith and environmental groups are uniting to launch a national campaign to uphold the congressional ban.
The campaign kicked off on Thursday, August 20, 2015 with protests in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago. Twenty five people rallied and distributed information in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco.
An even larger protest is planned for Tuesday, September 8th at 12 noon at the Federal Building, and twenty groups have already signed on to participate and help sponsor the action.
In July, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – chaired by Senator Murkowski of Alaska – approved the “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015” that includes a dangerous measure to lift the decades-old crude oil export ban. H.R. 702 would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to repeal authority to restrict the export of: (1) coal, petroleum products, natural gas, or petrochemical feedstocks; and (2) supplies of materials or equipment necessary to maintain or further exploration, production, refining, or transportation of energy supplies, or for the construction or maintenance of energy facilities within the United States.
Exporting crude oil – and other fossil fuels – to foreign countries will encourage even more fracking and tar sands mining, causing increased health, environmental and climate problems in the US and abroad. Major protests have also taken place in the Bay Area and nationally against the increase in rail transport of toxic and explosive crude oil through communities and sensitive ecosystems.
At the same time Bay Area groups are joining this national effort to keep the ban on crude oil exports in place, they are also working to prevent a controversial plan to import coal from Utah for export out of a proposed terminal in West Oakland.
“We must stop Congress from caving in to Big Oil and the fossil fuel industries that profit off of the health of people, the environment and the planet,” said Bradley Angel, Executive Director of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice. “Keep the oil in the ground!”
“Exporting US oil for refining will put more lives in danger and contribute more CO2 emissions to the environment which will increase the negative impacts of climate change due to a serious lack of regulation and oversight in other countries. The best storage for crude is underground,” said Hilton Kelley of the Community In-power Development Association based in Port Arthur, Texas, coordinator of this national effort.