Stand.earth and Amazon Watch Deploy 75-foot Banner Demanding Gavin Newsom End Amazon Destruction

Stand.earth and Amazon Watch Deploy 75-foot Banner Demanding Gavin Newsom End Amazon Destruction

Friday April 22, 2022

Massive Banner Drop in Sacramento Spotlights California & Amazon Oil Connection and Calls on Governor Newsom to Take Action

Travis Nichols

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — Today, activists from Stand.earth and Amazon Watch deployed a 75-foot banner from Sacramento’s iconic Tower Bridge to demand California governor Gavin Newsom stand up to Big Oil and end California’s role in the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest.  After 6pm PT, continually updated images can be found here, and on social media posts tagged #LinkedFates.

Wilder Zeiser, Senior Climate Campaigner at Stand.earth, who is at the Tower Bridge, said:

“We are here representing concerned citizens from around this state and around the world who are shocked by California’s role in consuming more oil from the Amazon than any other region in the world. It’s time for Governor Newsom to stand up to Big Oil and commit to no new oil drilling in California and an end to California’s role in new drilling in the Amazon.”

Last year, Stand.earth and Amazon Watch released Linked Fates, a groundbreaking investigative report that tracked crude oil from the Western Amazon to the United States. The report revealed that California refineries, businesses, and consumers convert 50% of the Amazon oil exported globally into fuel for airports such as LAX, distributors such as Amazon.com, trucking fleets such as PepsiCo., and retail gas giants such as COSTCO. This Linked Fates research revealed that 89% of the crude oil exported from the Amazon comes from Ecuador, with the remainder coming from Colombia and Peru. 

So far, Newsom and his administration haven’t taken action to ensure that the state won’t be complicit in new drilling in the Amazon, which is why Stand.earth, Amazon Watch and other allies are increasing pressure on the administration to act, including with messages like this one on Earth Day.

Lola Piaguaje, Vice President of CONFENIAE (Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon):

“Oil extraction is wreaking havoc on our territories, our communities, and the planet. We are living with constant contamination. We get sick every time we drink the water, and plans to expand extraction puts our very existence at risk. As Indigenous peoples we are caretakers and defenders of our territories and our rights. But we need others like California act urgently and take responsibility for their role in fueling Amazon destruction.”

Tyson Miller, Stand.earth Amazon Campaign Director:

“The Amazon is the last place in the world where oil drilling should be expanding. Governor Newsom has a critical opportunity to build on his climate leadership and ensure that California won’t continue to be complicit in the indigenous rights violations and toxic environmental impacts of new oil drilling in the Amazon.”

Kevin Koenig, Climate and Energy Director, Amazon Watch:

“California is importing more oil from the Amazon than ever, and its consumption is driving expansion deeper into frontier forests and Indigenous territories without their consent. California is addicted to Amazon crude. Governor Newsom needs to admit the Golden State has a problem and take action.” 

BACKGROUND

Oil drilling in the Amazon is leading to deforestation, contamination, and rights violations of Indigenous peoples. Despite its progressive image and leaders, the Linked Fates research showed California consumes more oil from the Amazon than any other region in the world. In fact, 1 in 9 gallons pumped on average in California comes from the Amazon, and in Southern California, the average is 1 in 7 gallons. 

Governor Newsom has reasons for concern on this issue. According to citizen polling from Directions Research, two thirds of US citizens are concerned about Amazonian oil imports and would be more likely to vote for elected officials who will take action. Newsom will also host the prestigious international “Summit of the Americas” in Los Angeles on June 6. The theme of this year’s conference is “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future,” which is impossible with Newsom’s current policies in place. Amazonian Indigenous federations, Stand.earth, Amazon Watch, and a growing movement believe Governor Newsom must do more to truly put California, and the world, on the path to this future. 

As the largest Amazon oil export destination, California has been and currently is central to crude-oil drilling and expansion in the Western Amazon. Ecuador’s President Lasso plans to double oil production and this is leading to road building in intact forests and protected areas and buffer zones of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation. Oil blocks covering approximately 7.5 million acres (3 million hectares) of intact forests are slated to be auctioned off by Q3 2022. Aging infrastructure has contributed to oil spills like the recent January pipeline rupture and two that occurred 2020 and impacted hundreds of thousand of Indigenous peoples in Ecuador and will likely also be an ongoing issue. The human rights violations of oil and extractive industries operating in the region is affecting millions of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin whose cultural survival depends on intact forests and rivers. 

For more information: 

https://www.stand.earth/forest-conservation/amazon-forest-protection

https://amazonwatch.org/news/2021/1202-linked-fates-ending-amazon-crude-will-benefit-us-all

 

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Media contacts:
 

General: Travis Nichols travis@stand.earth 404.432.1362

 

In California: 

Stand.earth: Zeiser: 510-778-5670 and zeiser@stand.earth

Amazon Watch Kevin Koenig kevin@amazonwatch.org 415.726.4607