Flipping the Narrative from Big Oil to Social Justice

Image: César Nije, Justice is Love

Oil and gas drilling pose grave dangers to public health, especially for people in frontline communities like those in Kern County, California, who live, work and go to school near these wells. A bilingual coalition of local community organizers and statewide social and environmental justice advocates fought Kern County leaders who, ignoring public outcry, voted to allow drilling of tens of thousands new oil and gas wells. Now this coalition will take the fight to the courts, pushing for a just transition to a green economy in Kern County and throughout California and the U.S.

Update October 2021: The Kern County Superior Court ruled that the County must suspend their oil and gas ordinance and stop approving permits until the Court determines the County has fully addressed the ordinance’s violations of environmental law. This includes adequately analyzing and mitigating the significant impacts of drilling on air quality, water supply, agricultural land conversion, and noise pollution.


Working as an integral part of the coalition, Public Good PR provided internal communications management, message development, media outreach and activism. We leveraged local media to amplify community voices across the state and nationwide. In a county saturated with oil money, public meetings are usually dominated by oil industry voices. At the two public hearings held during the course of the campaign, community voices outnumbered industry ten to one, and the coalition headed into a court battle empowered and backed by robust community support.