SAN DIEGO (CNS) —The San Diego City Council Tuesday passed a resolution calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to stop issuing new oil and gas well permits and implement buffers between communities and fossil fuel extraction sites.
The resolution was requested by high school students in SanDiego350's Youth v. Oil Campaign. It passed the Environment Committee unanimously on Thursday before moving forward 8-0 on Tuesday.
"Drilling and fracking are poisoning our resources and disproportionately impacting our communities," said Councilman Joe LaCava, chair of the San Diego Environment Committee. "This week Youth v. Oil delivered over 1,200 signatures demanding we take action now.
"A future where renewable energy is in and fossil fuels are out is possible -- but only if we act now," he said.
Youth v. Oil is climate-focused nonprofit SanDiego350's youth-run grassroots climate action and justice campaign. The campaign's members have worked for more than a year on this effort, getting the resolution passed by several entities, including the San Diego Unified School District, San Diego County Board of Education and Sweetwater Unified School District.
"The Youth v. Oil resolution is a powerful message of what youth can accomplish in the face of seemingly overwhelming matters such as our current climate crisis," said Keala Minna-Choe, a sophomore at Canyon Crest Academy high school, intern with SanDiego350 and the campaign lead. "I thank the City Council for being supportive in this effort and for passing this resolution to create a better future for all."
The resolution's passage means that the city -- which has no fossil fuel extraction sites of its own -- will call on Newsom to stop the issue of oil and gas permits, create 3,200-feet buffer zones and outline a transition away from fossil fuel extraction.
"It gives me so much hope to see the next generation fighting for our future, fighting to end our dependence on fossil fuels, and fighting to bring the very real dangers of climate change to the forefront," said Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert, vice chair of the Environment Committee. "I'm proud to support this resolution to transition California away from fossil fuels."