California Gov. Jerry Brown Tells Native American Anti-Fracking Protesters That He’ll ‘Put Them In The Ground’

While speaking at a UN climate summit in Germany last weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown was targeted by activists over his reluctance to ban fracking in his state. After Native American protesters shouted at him, Gov. Brown told a member of an indigenous rights group that he’d “put [them] in the ground” for interrupting him.

The exchange can be watched in the video above, but the relevant portion proceeded as follows:

Protesters: California’s fracking spreads pollution!

Brown: “Yeah, I wish — I wish we could have no pollution, but we have to have our automobiles.”

Protesters: “In the ground!”

Brown: “In the ground.”

Protesters: “In the ground!”

Brown: “I agree with you. In the ground. Let’s put you in the ground so we can get on with the show here.”

On Tuesday, Brown appeared on a Democracy Now broadcast and called his remark a “joke” before saying, “In California, we have the strongest Native American policy of any state in the country.” He also offered a defense of the state’s environmental policy. Host Amy Goodman twice attempted to steer Gov. Brown toward the issue of fracking, which Brown twice refused to acknowledge had been the source of the original protest.

After another attempt by Goodman, Governor Brown still wouldn’t say whether or not fracking would be banned in California. Yet he hinted that he wouldn’t ban it (while saying, “It’s a very small part”) before repeating that he wants California to be less reliant on oil.

(Via Law & Crime & Democracy Now)