PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania — California Gov. Jerry Brown won giddy applause from his state’s delegation as he took the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday evening — at least from the seats in front. However, he was also jeered from the seats in back by anti-fracking protesters, who shouted: “Ban fracking now!”
The focus of Brown’s speech was climate change — his top priority. He attacked Donald Trump for failing to mention climate change at all last week.
However, Brown himself has faced vigorous criticism from climate change activists for refusing to ban hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in California.
Fracking is a process in which oil and gas that is normally difficult to extract is obtained by injecting water and other chemicals deep into the earth at high pressure, breaking up rocks and freeing fossil fuels to flow towards an oil well. It has generally proven environmentally safe, and has rapidly expanded American oil production.
Advances in fracking technology have enabled the U.S. to pass Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer. It has also made clean-burning natural gas cheaper and more abundant, with the result that the U.S. has reduced greenhouse gas emissions — without onerous climate change regulations — even while growing its economy in recent years. Environmentalists blame the practice for poisoning groundwater and causing earthquakes, but most such claims have proven to be without scientific merit.
Here are the cheers for Brown:
And here are the jeers for fracking:
Brown’s biggest applause line of the night was: “Trump says global warming is a hoax. I say Trump is a fraud. Trump says there’s no drought in California. I say Trump lies. So, it’s not surprising that Trump chose as his running mate a man who denies that there’s such a thing as evolution.”
In addition, Brown boasted: “We have solar, wind, zero-emission cars, energy efficiency, and yes, a price on carbon. We’re proving that even with the toughest climate laws in the country, our economy is growing faster than almost any nation in the world.”
The California delegation has been among the more vocal sections of the Wells Fargo Center, booing candidates who back Hillary Clinton and cheering those who support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). As a result, Sanders delegates suspect, the party floor whips are relocating pro-Clinton delegates to seats in the California section.
One Sanders delegate from Los Angeles spoke to Breitbart News about her frustration as she sought answers from convention staff.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.