Oxnard youth holding signs
Jessica Torres, Evelyn Melgoza, and Saray Padilla at the California Energy Commission meeting in Oxnard on January 10. (Photo courtesy of CAUSE)

From the beaches of Oxnard, California, you can often see plumes of smoke filling the sky.

Lopez: “Sometimes when the smokestacks are on, you cannot tell where the clouds end and the plume begins.”

That’s Raul Lopez, a community organizer and resident of Oxnard, a coastal city that is home to three fossil fuel power plants.

Power plants not only contribute to global warming pollution, they also cause local air pollution and health problems. Oxnard’s asthma rate is one of the highest in the state.

Now, yet another plant has been proposed. It is slated to replace two of the old ones, but still, residents have had enough.

Lopez: “Why are they not approaching Malibu? Why are they not approaching Santa Barbara? Why always Oxnard?”

'Why are they not approaching Malibu? Why are they not approaching Santa Barbara? Why always Oxnard?' Click To Tweet

Seventy five percent of Oxnard residents are Latinos. And Lopez says that many residents, like his parents, are immigrants with limited English who are afraid or unable to speak up.

So for two years, Lopez and others in his generation have spoken out and protested the construction of the proposed fossil fuel power plant in Oxnard. Lopez is determined to make his voice heard.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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