Tickets for our annual dinner, featuring Betty Yee, are available. Details are on our website.
by Al Miller. A Food & Water Watch email from Adam Scow provided information for this article.
Food & Water Watch (http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/) has formed a new statewide coalition named Californians Against Fracking (CAF) that is working to ban fracking in the Golden State. “Today, [May 30th] the new Californians Against Fracking coalition, which has been endorsed by 100 organizations in California, will deliver over 100,000 petitions to Governor Brown at his offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. “Today’s launch of Californians Against Fracking is timely. Just this week, behind closed doors, the leadership in the State Assembly watered down a moratorium bill. It’s time to show the Governor and our political leaders that we do not want fracking in California.
Fracking an oil or gas well means injecting millions of gallons of fluid—typically a mix of water, sand and [undisclosed] chemicals—at a pressure high enough to fracture underground rocks and release oil or gas. The practice is leaving a legacy of air and water pollution in communities across the country, and is contributing to global climate change. [There is also some evidence that fracking has triggered earthquakes.]
Now, the oil and gas industry is targeting natural gas fields in the Sacramento Basin and oil fields in the San Joaquin, Santa Maria, Ventura and Los Angeles Basins. If industry succeeds, generations of Californians would pay the environmental and public health costs.
More on what FRACKING is: “Fracking is a form of natural gas drilling that involves the injection of millions of gallons of ‘frack fluid’ [under high pressure] into dense shale rock in order to crack the rock and release the gas. The gas can then be sent to a port to be condensed into liquefied natural gas (LNG) before being exported overseas. ‘Frack fluid’ contains a combination of [undisclosed proprietary] chemicals, water, and sand. After frack fluid is injected into the earth, some of it comes back out in the form of [toxic] wastewater that cannot safely be treated in standard wastewater facilities.
- Fracking chemicals are toxic and can contaminate water as a result of spills or accidents.
- Fracking produces hazardous wastewater, which can contain radioactive substances as well as toxic chemicals, making disposal difficult and dangerous.
- Fracking requires millions of gallons of water, which can deplete local water supplies.
- Fracking can cause natural gas to migrate into drinking water sources, which can cause houses and wells to explode [and tap water to burn].
- There have been more than 1,000 documented cases of water contamination near drilling sites around the country.
- People who live in areas where fracking occurs experience contaminated water, reduced property value, increased truck traffic, loud noise, explosions and even illness.
You can side with the Californians Against Fracking, and common sense, and speak out to protect California from fracking at http://tinyurl.com/lynusdc
Sign the Petition to let Governor Brown know that you want to BAN FRACKING NOW!
by Al Miller. The Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) E-Newsletter of May 29, 2013 (http://pnhpcalifornia.org) provided information for this article.
A new report challenges the longheld popular belief that immigrants are draining resources from the Medicare program. This report shows that documented and undocumented immigrants have paid about $14 billion more annually into Medicare than they have received in benefits.
“This afternoon [May 29th] the prestigious journal Health Affairs published a new study showing that immigrants, particularly noncitizen immigrants, are heavily subsidizing Medicare’s Trust Fund. The article is titled Immigrants contributed an estimated $115.2 billion more to the Medicare Trust Fund than they took out in 2002-09. A complete, online version of the study is available free from Health Affairs.”
Here is the Abstract of the report:
Many immigrants in the United States are working-age taxpayers; few are elderly beneficiaries of Medicare. This demographic profile suggests that immigrants may be disproportionately subsidizing the Medicare Trust Fund, which supports payments to hospitals and institutions under Medicare Part A. For immigrants and others, we tabulated Trust Fund contributions and withdrawals (that is, Trust Fund expenditures on their behalf) using multiple years of data from the Current Population Survey and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. In 2009 immigrants made 14.7 percent of Trust Fund contributions but accounted for only 7.9 percent of its expenditures—a net surplus of $13.8 billion. In contrast, US-born people generated a $30.9 billion deficit. Immigrants generated surpluses of $11.1–$17.2 billion per year between 2002 and 2009 (emphasis added), resulting in a cumulative surplus of $115.2 billion. Most of the surplus from immigrants was contributed by noncitizens and was a result of the high proportion of working-age taxpayers in this group. Policies that restrict immigration may deplete Medicare’s financial resources.
You can get a complete copy of this eight-page study at http://tinyurl.com/pw3gdcr. If you would like a copy, but do not have access to the Internet, contact Al Miller at 510-526-4874 and he will provide one to you.