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People We Love :: Erica Fernandez

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Brower Youth award video about Erica Fernandez


Taking On Natural Gas Giants

In her campaign to stop the building of a liquefied natural gas plant, 16-year-old Erica Fernandez learned a valuable lesson: “A united community is more powerful than money.”

Fernandez was born and raised in Mexico until age 10. When she learned of BHP Billiton’s plan to build an LNG facility near her hometown in Oxnard, California, Fernandez began educating herself about what it would mean for her community. She learned that the plant would likely pollute coastal towns and send a pipeline through low-income neighborhoods.

While many community members felt the plant was inevitable, Fernandez resolved to halt the project. She organized protests, community meetings, and letter-writing campaigns until the governor agreed to reject the LNG project. Fernandez received a 2007 Brower Youth award, which honors environmental and social justice actions.

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