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Protesters to Gov. Jerry Brown: Prove your green credentials by banning fracking

Protesters to Gov. Jerry Brown: Prove your green credentials by banning fracking
Protesters gatheroutside the Capitol on Thursday to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to ban fracking. (Chris Megerian / Los Angeles Times)

As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares for his trip to the United Nations summit on climate change in Paris, protesters gathered outside the Capitol on Thursday to say he hasn't done enough at home in California.

The protesters, who called themselves Faith Against Fracking, called for the governor to ban hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of oil and gas extraction.

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"We have a governor about to step on the world stage and say he's taking action," said David Braun, a leader in the protest group. He added, "We're calling on him to demonstrate his commitment to climate."

The state issued new, tougher rules on fracking this summer, but they haven't satisfied critics who want an outright ban. There have also been concerns that officials haven't done enough to protect water from being contaminated by oil and gas extraction.

Kristen Debler of Sacramento, who represented the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria at the protest, said Brown should be tougher on fracking because of the drought.

"You told us you respected water," she said.

Brown has said the world needs to transition away from fossil fuels and leave vast quantities of oil in the ground to halt climate change. However, he's also supported oil production in California, most recently during a recent conference in San Francisco where he referenced calls to ban fracking.

"I've said no, we're going to take out the oil in the most efficient way possible," he said.

Oil industry supporters said reducing production in California would simply force the state to import more from other places.

"Importing more oil and thus increasing the cost of gas will adversely impact working-class and low-income families," said Cheryl Branch, executive director of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches, in a statement.

Follow @chrismegerian for more updates from Sacramento.

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