The controversial practice of fracking will be explored during a free screening of the film “Gasland,” followed by a panel discussion Saturday, September 15, at 1 p.m. at West Los Angeles College.
The college is located at 9000 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230. Free parking is available in Lot 5 and the S. Parking Structure.
A coalition of three anti-fracking organizations–Frack-Free Culver City, Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community and Food & Water Watch will host the event.
The process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known simply as fracking, is slated for the Baldwin Hills Oil Field, situated in Culver City and the Greater Baldwin Hills area.
“We realize many Culver City residents are concerned about the safety of their families and the greater community,” Paul Ferrazzi, co-founder of Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community, said.
“But people are busy, and fracking is a complex business. There’s so much to learn. The film and panel discussion are a great opportunity.”
Fracking issues have twice attracted large crowds to the Culver City City Council Chambers, where audience members learned the reasons that many residents are opposed to it and greatly concerned about the prospect of fracking occurring in the oil field nearby.
Local anti-fracking activists have planned the screening and panel presentation as an educational opportunity for both the general public and Culver City councilpersons, who in the next few months are expected to decide whether to ban fracking under Culver City.
The documentary film, created by Josh Fox, explores the earthquakes, accidents, toxic water pollution and other extreme events tied to fracking that have already taken place in New York, Wyoming, Texas, Ohio Michigan and other states.
The panelists include local community activists Ferrazzi and Gary Gless, geologist Tom Williams, community organizer Brenna Norton and public policy analyst Lance Simmens.
Ferrazzi and Gless, co-founders of Citizen’s Coalition for a Safe Community, have studied oil extraction practices and their results, particularly in regard to the Inglewood Oil Field, since 2008.
Williams, who has a 40-year career working in environmental engineering with oil and gas development, has conducted geological and petroleum studies and project development worldwide.
Norton is the Southern California organizer for Food & Water Watch. Based in Los Angeles, she works with local communities and statewide organizations to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing in California.
Simmens, panelist and moderator, has served in senior levels of public policymaking for the past 36 years. As a special assistant to Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, he headed the Governor’s Task Forces on Wind and Solar Energy Development. He also immersed himself in the community issues surrounding the development of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale and became an opponent of unfettered oil and natural gas exploration throughout the state.
The screening and panel presentations are part of a larger event taking place from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on the West L.A College campus. EarthFest LA, produced by California Greenworks Inc. will include an environmental expo, an electronic devices drop-off, children’s activities, a noontime opening ceremony, informative presentations and a concert. Most activities are free; the concert is not.
EarthFest LA is co-chaired by Congresswoman Karen Bass, Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell and Culver City Councilmember Jeffrey Cooper.
To purchase concert tickets and for more information about EarthFest LA, go to www.earthfestla.org.