California Gov. Newsom to Unilaterally Ban Fracking by 2024
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to ban hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as ‘fracking,’ by 2024 in an April 23 press release. As part of his personal longer-term goal to end all oil extraction in the state by 2045, the governor directed the California Department of Conservation’s Geologic Energy Management (CalGEM) Division to immediately initiate rulemaking to end the issuance of new fracking permits (essentially ending the entire purpose of the agency itself) by January 2024.
Newsom’s announcement ignored his own determination last September that he did not have the power to unilaterally demand an end to fracking. He also did not mention the hundreds of thousands of California jobs his decision would destroy (calculated at 366,000 jobs) and the billions of dollars lost to California ($152 billion each year). Nevertheless, Newsom forged ahead, stating: “The climate crisis is real, and we continue to see the signs every day,” said Governor Newsom. “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.”
Western States Petroleum Association President Cathy Reheis-Boyd responded to Newsom’s edict, telling Fox News; “It’s very concerning and, frankly, unconscionable that the governor continues to ignore science and data and facts, and instead governs by what appears to be bans, mandates, and fiats. And the message this sends to the very companies who have the ability to move us to a low-carbon economy in this state will be disincentivized to participate in that process…When you unpack this a little bit, it’s even more concerning. Because if you don’t produce crude oil under the strictest environmental regulations in California, you have to ask yourself – where will it come from?”