California Gov. Jerry Brown is upsetting environmentalist supporters after saying that he will not support a statewide fracking ban.
Environmentalist groups and Hollywood stars in the Golden State were hoping Brown would follow the lead of fellow New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently imposed a ban on hydraulic fracturing in his state, The Washington Times is reporting.
While Brown is considered one of the greenest governors, there is a group of Democrats who support natural gas because it has lower carbon emissions than other sources.
Dan Jacobson of Environment California, which is part of the Californians Against Fracking coalition, told the Times that it is "frustrating" that Brown won't support the ban.
Brown "is also one of the godfathers of the environmental movement," Jacobson said.
However, he added that "he's got three more years in office, and if he wants to be a climate leader, he’s going to have to complete the other side of the equation, which is dealing with oil and making sure we leave it in the ground."
According to the Times, others haven't been so polite, saying that Brown has been heckled at public appearances with people chanting, "Climate leaders don't frack!"
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, a climate change group and environmental studies professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, wrote an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times in early May,
calling Brown's stance on fracking "a problem."
According to McKibben, "That oil will get shipped somewhere, and when it's burned, it will push global warming yet higher. It's as if the governor banned smoking in California but turned the Central Valley over to growing tobacco. And given the physics of climate change, secondhand carbon smoke is as damaging as burning it yourself."
The California Democrat, like Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, has passed fracking regulations, but they have both refused to impose an outright ban.
Some cities and local jurisdictions in California have passed their own fracking bans, including Marin County, Oakland, Culver City and Beverly Hills.
Brown has defended fracking for its safety record while touting the possible economic benefits, as the Central Valley, which has the greatest potential for oil and gas drilling is a region in California with high poverty.
The California governor and legislature has asked for a study on the matter, which is expected to be released July 1.
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