Student-led campaign urges city council to vote calling on Newsom to end fossil fuel permits

San Diego350
Student Volunteers for Youth c. Oil from climate-focused nonprofit SanDiego350. Photo via @youthv.oil Instagram

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to stop issuing new oil and gas well permits and put buffers in place between communities and fossil fuel extraction sites.

The resolution was requested by high school students as part of the Youth v. Oil from SanDiego350. It was passed unanimously by the Environment Committee on Thursday before advancing 8-0 on Tuesday.

“Drilling and fracking poisons our resources and disproportionately impacts our communities,” said Councilman Joe LaCava, chairman of the San Diego Environment Committee. “This week, Youth v. Oil delivered over 1,200 signatures demanding we act now.”

“A future where renewables are present and fossil fuels excluded is possible, but only if we act now,” he said.

Youth v. Oil is SanDiego350’s youth-led, nonprofit, climate-focused climate action and justice campaign. Campaign members worked for more than a year on this effort, getting the resolution passed by several entities, including the San Diego Unified School District, the San Diego County Board of Education, and the Sweetwater Unified School District.

“The Youth v. Oil resolution is a powerful message of what young people can achieve in the face of seemingly overwhelming issues like our current climate crisis,” said Canyon Crest Academy sophomore Keala Minna-Choe, intern at SanDiego350 and the campaign manager. “I thank the City Council for supporting this effort and passing this resolution to create a better future for all.”

Passing the resolution means the city — which has no fossil fuel extraction sites — will ask Newsom to stop issuing oil and gas permits, create 3,200-foot buffer zones and define 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 addiction to fossil fuels, and fighting to bring the very real dangers of climate change to the fore,” said the councilor Marni von Wilpert, vice-president. of the Environment Committee. “I am proud to support this resolution to move California away from fossil fuels.”

City News Service contributed to this article.