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Students Ask San Diego School Board's Help In Halting New Oil Drilling Permits

In this file photo taken June 1, 2011, a cow walks near oil pump jacks in Santa Maria, Calif.
Jae C. Hong / AP
In this file photo taken June 1, 2011, a cow walks near oil pump jacks in Santa Maria, Calif.

A group of San Diego high school students will ask the San Diego Unified School board to speak out against oil drilling in California.

The student activists are not happy that California Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to issue new permits to drill for oil in the state.

Students Ask San Diego School Board's Help In Halting New Oil Drilling Permits
Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

They say Newsom issued more permits last year than the previous year, and they say that’s bad for the environment.

“We are asking the governor to immediately stop issuing new oil and fracking permits,” said Kate Vedder, a Point Loma High School senior. “And to also produce a solid plan for phasing out oil drilling in California.

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The activists say the negative health effects of oil drilling and fracking disproportionately hurt communities of color and poor neighborhoods.

The students have been lobbying school board members in California’s second-largest district to take a stand because they say their future depends on rolling back the use of fossil fuels now.

The students hope convincing the board will help convince the governor to change course.

“We feel that adults haven’t really done their jobs ensuring that we’re going to have a safe and healthy future,” said Elisa Delle Monache, a junior at University City High School. “So we’re going to take this into our own hands. We did the research, we met with board members and we put the resolution together.”

The SDUSD board will take up the issue at Tuesday night’s hearing.

The students promise to lobby other San Diego school districts to pass similar resolutions.