After four months of iconic protests to demand leaders act to address the climate crisis in Washington D.C Jane Fonda, Greenpeace USA, Last Chance Alliance, Joaquin Phoenix, and others have brought Fire Drill Fridays to California.

Jane Fonda and Joaquin Phoenix participate in a Fire Drill Friday rally on February 7 in Los Angeles
Jane Fonda and Joaquin Phoenix participate in a Fire Drill Friday rally on February 7 in Los Angeles

Last week at City Hall in downtown L.A., Fonda and Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard launched the next phase of Fire Drill Friday rallies. Once again, Fonda was joined by friends, actors, activists, youth, Indigenous leaders, climate experts, and representatives from impacted and underrepresented communities. Last Chance Alliance, representing over 700 environmental, health, justice, faith, labor, community, parent, and consumer organizations, is calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to:

  • STOP new fossil fuel projects: Lead by issuing no new permits for oil and gas extraction, fossil fuel infrastructure, or petrochemical projects in California.
  • DROP existing production: Set a national and global precedent by becoming the first oil- producing state to announce a phase-out of existing production in line with the Paris climate goals, with a just and equitable transition that protects workers, communities, and economies.
  • ROLL out setback limits: Begin by first phasing out oil production in places that are suffering most from the impacts of fossil fuel extraction—by creating a 2500-foot public health and safety buffer zone between fossil-fuel infrastructure and homes, schools, and other sensitive sites.

After over a thousand people gathered at City Hall for the first Fire Drill Fridays rally in Los Angeles, the crowd marched nearly a mile to Maverick Natural Resources, which operates a large number of oil and gas wells in Southern California and the Central Valley. Activists have occupied the lobby of the building to send a message to Governor Newsom and California leaders.

“We are here to send a message to California leadership that we need to choose our communities over fossil fuel companies like Maverick,” said Jane Fonda. “I stand in solidarity with those risking arrest right now. California is already a leader in promoting renewable energy, and that is an important part of the solution — but it is only half of the picture. If we allow fossil fuel companies to keep drilling, it will cancel out the benefits of all that good clean renewable energy we are building. So we have to do both: stop fossil fuels and promote a healthy, clean energy future.”

“We’re here to demand California’s leaders put a stop to fossil fuel expansion,” added Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA. “We have the solutions to climate change right now — a Green New Deal, no new fossil fuels, and a just transition to 100% renewables — we just need leaders with the political will to enact them. Our house is on fire. It’s time our leaders started acting like it.”

Greenpeace USA and Fire Drill Fridays partnered with environmental justice coalition STAND-L.A. to co-organize this first Friday Drill Friday in Los Angeles, home to the largest urban oil field in the nation. A coalition of frontline communities impacted by urban oil drilling and public health and environmental justice organizations, STAND-L.A.’s campaign urges the Los Angeles City Council to establish a 2,500-foot health and safety buffer separating oil extraction from homes, schools, parks, and other sensitive land uses. In the South Coast Air Basin, over 620,000 people — primarily low-income communities and communities of color — live within a half mile of an active oil well, exposed to health risks such as asthma and other respiratory illness.

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