Protect Elementary School Near Fracking Wells


Target: Todd A. Stevens, President and CEO of California Resources Corporation

Goal: Adopt the safest fracture drilling procedures possible at the three wells near Seqouia Elementary School.

Three oil wells operate within a half-mile of Sequoia Elementary in Shafter, California with the closest being only 400 feet from a playground. Students commonly play within sight of gas flares and some have developed atypical health issues. We reasonably urge the President of the California Resources Corporation (CRC) to adopt excessively safe measures for the wells near the school.

Is it normal news in an elementary school to hear of a nine-year-old being diagnosed with prostate cancer? Or an 11-year-old suddenly dying from an mysterious illness, one that was undiagnosable by four hospitals? Unfortunately, this is becoming normal for students at Sequoia Elementary who have routinely complained about breathing problems, asthma, nausea, dizziness, headaches, skin rashes and nosebleeds. Although they live between two major highways and among pesticide-laden acres of industrial farms, many families find the nearby fracking wells at least partially to blame.

The dangers of drilling so close to a busy school range from explosions at the well to trucks full of toxic mining water sharing the roads with school buses. Fracking also releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and benzene, a cancer causing chemical–not to mention uses a ghastly amount of water and creates a large volume of waste water.

We should not delay real action by calling for an environmental impact analysis. The situation on the ground is the impact analysis and the unwitting children are the test subjects. This tragedy calls for urgent action and deserves to be examined across the country where setback laws do not exist. Sign below and urge the President of the newly formed CRC to bolster their public image by installing every safeguard possible at these wells.


Dear Mr. Stevens,

Sequoia Elementary School in Shafter, California, sits perilously close to three of California Resource Corporation’s hydraulic fracturing wells. Many students and nearby residents have been linking these wells to strange health issues. Unfortunately, these concerned citizens have neither the necessary education on the dangers of fracking to enter into a dialogue with you, nor do they have the resources and time to organize, and, therefore, do not have your attention.

I urge you to research how the oil company Encana, when planning wells near schools in Erie, Colorado, responded to outraged parents. In the end, they committed to using the safest fracking method known as “closed loop” where fluid and fumes are contained and water use reduced. They also agreed to drill only during summer vacation and divert truck traffic around the schools.

California Resources Corporation describes its energy production first and foremost as “safe”. I urge you to emulate the actions of Encana and bolster the corporate citizenship of CRC by voluntarily adopting the safest fracking procedures possible near this school.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Brooke Anderson via

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