On the heels of unveiling her new television ad, titled “Garage,” which will air throughout California’s 24th district beginning next week, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider threw her support behind a nation-wide ban on fracking this past Earth Day, April 22.

The Mayor also scored an influential endorsement from Jean-Michel Cousteau, environmentalist and founder of the Ocean Futures Society.

“I am proud today to announce my support for Helene Schneider in her congressional run. Helene’s dedication to protecting our most precious resource — the ocean — has been evident throughout her career. I have no doubt she will make it a priority once elected,” Cousteau said.

Significantly, Earth Day was established to raise awareness following the 1969 oil spill that devastated Santa Barbara. Mayor Schneider made clear her strong belief the dangers posed by the process of fracking will wreak havoc on the environment similarly to the 1969 spill.

“The increasing use of fracking all across America poses a serious threat and lasting danger to our precious environment,” she said. “From polluting our air and water to inciting earthquakes and intensifying the impact of climate change, the process of fracking significantly jeopardizes the health and well-being of our planet and all of humanity. That’s why in Congress, I plan to work tirelessly to ban fracking while increasing investments in homegrown new, clean energy technologies that enhance America’s energy security and create local jobs, all while simultaneously protecting our environment.”

Mayor Schneider has also already racked up wide-ranging environmental support, including from the following: 

» California League of Conservation Voters

» Hannah-Beth Jackson, California State senator

» Richard Bloom, California State assemblyman, former California coastal commissioner

» Marc McGinnes, Environmental Defense Center founder

» Eddie Harris, Urban Creeks Council president and environmental leader

» Scott Bull, environmental activist

» Yvon and Malinda Chouinard, founders, Patagonia

» Jim Dehlsen, chairman, Aquantis, Inc.

» Keith Zandona, founder, Santa Barbara Surfrider Foundation

Schneider’s Strong Record of Environmental Protection

Every action taken by City Government is measured in terms of its environmental sustainability. As a founding and continuing member of the City’s Sustainability Committee, Mayor Schneider has focused on significant energy savings that are also economically sound, including the following accomplishments:

» One fourth of the City of Santa Barbara’s electricity use comes from renewable sources

» One third of the city’s fleet vehicles are either fuel-efficient or use alternative fuels

» Green house gas emissions from city facilities and fleet are 10 percent lower than 1990 emissions

» In the last 5 years, the city’s fuel use has been reduced by 8 percent, saving about $90,000

» Natural gas use in city facilities decreased to the lowest levels since 2002

» Through simple lighting retrofits, the city saves 216,000 kilowatt-hours and over $36,000 per year

​» More efficient energy use results in ongoing savings of approximately $500,000 per year

​» Solar panels at Public Works Motor Pool Facility and Airport Rent-a-car area provides most of the electrical needs at that facility

» Through a new fuel cell at El Estero Wastewater Treatment facility, methane gas is converted along with the fats, oils and grease from city restaurants into electricity that powers the plant

» The new Airport terminal is LEED Gold, the remodel of the Community Development building is LEED Platinum, and the city has a minimum standard of LEED Silver on all new or retrofitted facilities

» The re-commissioned Hydro Electric Plant at Cater Water Treatment center can produce enough electricity for 200 homes for a year

» The City Council passed the Climate Action Plan in 2012

» The city installed eight electric vehicle charging stations in public parking lots

» The city led the charge and adopted a single-use plastic bag ban, which can be used by local governments throughout the region

For more information, visit www.HeleneSchneider.org.