For Immediate Release
February 7th, 2023
California Nurse Organizer
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
Nurses Support 3,200 ft Buffer Zones to Protect Vulnerable Communities in California
Sacremento, CA –Late last week the oil industry’s referendum to overturn Senate Bill 1137 qualified for the 2024 ballot. SB 1137 was signed into law by Governor Newsom in September 2022 in order to create a 3,200 ft buffer between toxic oil and gas drilling and the places where people live, learn, work, and play. Shortly after Governor Newsom signed this bill into law, the oil industry filed a referendum to overturn this critical public health protection. In response to the referendum, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments’ Executive Director Katie Huffling, DNP, RN, CNM, FAAN issued the following statement:
“SB 1137 is essential to protecting the nearly 3 million Californians who live next to oil and gas drilling and are currently being poisoned. Communities that live near these operations are at greater risk of suffering from adverse health effects, including preterm births, cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, and cancer.
“Big Oil spent millions of dollars and led a deceitful campaign in order to obtain the signatures needed. Now that the referendum has qualified for the 2024 ballot, California voters will decide whether to implement the measure in 2024. Meanwhile, the oil industry will continue to poison vulnerable communities, primarily low-income people of color. In the midst of a climate crisis in which we need to transition away from fossil fuels as soon as possible to ensure a livable future, Big Oil continues to sacrifice human lives and the planet for profit.
“Across California, nurses will continue to advocate for an end to neighborhood oil drilling. We will support the frontline communities and environmental organizations that have been fighting for decades for the right to breathe clean air.”
About The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.