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Los Angeles County has become a fractivism hotbed. The City of Los Angeles has voted in favor of a fracking moratorium. The county has 87 additional cities, many of which are angry about the aggressive oil extraction technique. The city of Beverly Hills voted for a fracking ban on April 22. Not to be outdone, the small city of Carson enacted a complete ban on fracking on March 18, to expire May 2. It's considering extending the ban to cover a full year. The city has legitimate reasons to be concerned - a housing tract sitting atop an old oil tank farm declared a local emergency is only the most visible symbol of Big Oil coming to town.

But oil-soaked businesses don't like the idea of a fracking ban. The Western States Petroleum Association commissioned a report claiming that the oil/gas industry in Los Angeles County supports 17,000 jobs directly in the oil extraction industry, and another 12,000 gas station jobs, reports the Los Angeles Times.  

The standard talking point presents a stark either-or choice: either the world's largest urban oil field keeps fracking up Los Angeles air and risking earthquakes, or 29,000 people lose their jobs.

labor-oilWSPA's math falls apart under scrutiny.  Los Angeles County had 4,800 jobs in oil, gas, and coal in February 2014 per official figures, so WSPA's 17,000 direct jobs claim is part of a long California oil industry history of making things up again and again. That's not even the biggest whopper - even if every city in the county of Los Angeles passes a fracking moratorium, Angelenos still need to drive, so those 12,000 minimum wage gas station jobs are hardly threatened by fracking moratoria and oil severance taxes.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor is lobbying for its brothers and sisters in the city of Carson. A memo signed by Maria Elena Durazo, head of the federation, that I've obtained warns:

We hope the City of Carson will oppose a ban on oil extraction - denying the City valuable revenue and jobs. Los Angeles County continues to suffer from double-digit unemployment. We need to come together to look for way to increase revenue and job opportunities.
LAclimate_JobsLA AFL-CIO is actively lobbying for the oil business - it's sending canvassers into the streets of Carson "to help us spearhead our efforts" and it's asking people to mail in postcards to oppose the Carson fracking ban on April 29.

Meanwhile, a November 2013 UCLA-Environmental Defense Fund report on the under-utilized Los Angeles County solar market finds that if just 5 percent of the county's rooftops had solar installed, nearly 29,000 jobs would be created. And the greatest potential will be in the economically disadvantaged sections of the county, like Carson.

29,000 jobs (if WSPA numbers can be believed) fracking the world's largest urban oilfield and burning the planet, or 29,000 new jobs building a better world? Los Angeles Federation of Labor is making its lobbying choice. But let's not pretend that the choice is one of "jobs vs. the environment."  

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Comment Preferences

  •  If the Frackers can't have the money, they will (6+ / 0-)

    work long and hard to deny it to everyone.  If the poor people benefit by rooftop solar and a healthier environment, well that's an outrage.

    How about the frackers be required to post bonds to cover losses from a potential earthquake (or two, or three, or...)?  How about the frackers be liable for all costs - air pollution, groundwater pollution, wearing out of roads and bridges from increased traffic?  If the total costs of the activity were born by those responsible for the activity, then you can have an apples to apples comparison of which would make the people better off.  My bet would be on solar panels with 20 year lifetimes vs. natural gas and oil extraction which would go on for a couple of years and then leave behind pollution and waste.

  •  29 thousand jobs and a future (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller, cotterperson, James Wells
    Meanwhile, a November 2013 UCLA-Environmental Defense Fund report on the under-utilized Los Angeles County solar market finds that if just 5 percent of the county's rooftops had solar installed, nearly 29,000 jobs would be created. And the greatest potential will be in the economically disadvantaged sections of the county, like Carson.
    A future that could look like this:

    Ready for This? Last Month 100% of New Electrical Capacity in the US came from Renewable Sources by Muskegon Critic

    In January 2013, renewable energy made up 100% of all new energy capacity in the US according to Grist, and illustrated by their graph....
    I hope that in does not, as I've been hearing word lately, depend on Big Oil/petrochemical corporations to re-tool into renewables so that they and only they once again control energy; but that indivudals can become independent of Big OIl and other energy corporations.

    And for those interested; net providers themselves. People creating and fulfilling their own clean energy needs - NO fracking

    This way we also achieve this: Decentralizing electrical power can help decentralize economic power

    That would be excellent for our future - imo

    Thx RL Miller - for this exposure

  •  Not All Jobs Are Good Jobs (0+ / 0-)

    If the union really cared about its members it wouldn't condemn them to 19th century jobs that put their health at risk, not to mention their future employment, what with the coming carbon bubble and these oil and gas companies only a few years from being forced to keep 80% of their product in the ground.  

    If anyone at the union was really looking out for their workers and looking forward a decade or so they'd be leading the charge to retrain these union members instead of holding them back so they remain a step behind.

    And if the union had an ounce of vision or smarts they'd be unionizing the solar industry which is currently wide open with levels of quality and integrity all over the place.  If ever there were an industry ripe for high standards and highly trained and certified union workers it is the solar industry but the AFL CIO is too busy looking in the rear view mirror while the clean renewable energy future races past them unseen.

    Maria Elena Durazo's clueless letter to her members should be framed and put on the wall alongside the letters I'm sure she wrote fighting for those sorely missed DDT and asbestos industry jobs.

    What does it say about a union that it would go along with lying and grossly inflating the number of jobs available for their members in the dirty fuel industries while the real employment opportunities for union members and their family lies in exactly the opposite direction, the one they are silent about and blind to?  

    It says that the union is just a tool of the industry they're supposed to be protecting their workers from and that they're using the members' dues money to help wreck the climate.

    And here I thought the AFL-CIO had some balls and was strong enough to tell its members the truth and fight for them and their families.  That they were fierce champions for a better future for their members' children and grandchildren.  

    What a chump your Angry Buddhist was.  

    That memory was just something I recalled from some movie a long time ago. Today's union is apparently just another division of management, both of whom are happy to sell out their members/workers.

    This Angry Buddhist is also a Climate Hawk Who Votes.

    "The Buddhist was pissed... and it wasn't the first time."

    by The Angry Buddhist on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 09:31:19 PM PDT

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