California governor, Gavin Newsom, is seeking ways to phase out oil drilling in the state by 2045, reported Reuters. His administration is also evaluating ways to ban new fracking permits within the next three years.
Firstly, Newsome has faced criticism from environmental activists and politicians who say that extraction of oil and gas in the state’s soil is at odds with the state’s aggressive approach towards energy transition.
Indeed, California has public policies that are strongly inclined towards clean energy; like the Low Carbon Fuel Standard; goals to phase out coal and to electrify homes and vehicles; as well as the intention to ban gasoline-powered cars by 2035.
However, the state remains the seventh largest oil producer of the whole nation; as well as the second biggest oil consumer. It is also home to a tenth of the U.S. oil refining capacity. Nevertheless, its oil production capacity has declined steadily since the 80’s.
Moreover, Newsome said in a statement that he has made clear his intentions to end fracking in the state; “I similarly believe that California needs to move beyond oil,” he remarked.
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California needs to move quicker into transition
Nevertheless, many environmental groups say that California needs to move towards that goal quicker; they say the state need to phase out oil drilling. On the other hand, the oil and gas industry has criticized the governor’s announcement; they say the move would hurt the economy and oil and drilling-dependent jobs; families and also communities.
Furthermore, the Western States Petroleum Association, in a statement said it would “fight this harmful and unlawful mandate.”
However, Newsome said he has directed the California state oil and gas regulator, the Geologic Energy Management Division, to start a process to stop the issuance of hydraulic fracturing permits by 2024.
In addition, according to the state’s Department of Conservation, fracking accounts for about 2% of all the oil and gas production in the state.
Finally, Newsome said he has the California Air Resources Board, which writes the state’s climate change policies, evaluating ways to finally phase out oil extraction in the state by 2045.