Newsom Proposes Ban on New Fracking Permits in California by 2024

Policy

California Governor Gavin Newsom attends a news conference to launch a coronavirus vaccination supersite in San Diego, Calif., February 8, 2021. (Sandy Huffaker/Pool via Reuters)

California governor Gavin Newsom has directed state regulators to cease issuing new permits for hydraulic fracturing projects by 2024.

The announcement does not affect permits for existing fracking wells, which supply about 17 percent of California’s gas and oil, according to the New York Times. Newsom also ordered regulators to “analyze pathways to phase out oil extraction” in California by 2045, according to a statement released on Friday.

“The climate crisis is real, and we continue to see the signs every day,” Newsom commented in the press release. “As we move to swiftly decarbonize our transportation sector and create a healthier future for our children, I’ve made it clear I don’t see a role for fracking in that future and, similarly, believe that California needs to move beyond oil.”

Newsom’s announcement came after a state bill that would have banned all fracking operations in California by 2027, including at existing wells, failed to make it past the State Senate Natural Resources Committee. The bill was opposed by trade unions and the oil and gas industry.

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“Once again, Governor Newsom has chosen to ignore science, data and facts to govern by bans, mandates and personal fiat,” Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President and CEO of Western States Petroleum Association, said in a statement. “Banning nearly 20% of the energy production in our state will only hurt workers, families and communities in California and turns our energy independence over to foreign suppliers.”

Newsom has also directed state regulators to devise a plan to end the sale of gas-powered vehicles in the state by the end of 2035, in an order signed in September 2020.

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