Governor Gavin Newsom is reportedly planning to phase out permits for fracking in California, bowing to pressure from environmental groups who are opposed to fossil fuel development.
Fracking, known more formally as hydraulic fracturing, is a process in which fluid is injected deep into the rock formations to shake loose oil and gas from deposits that are typically harder to reach using traditional drilling.
It has helped the U.S. become the world’s top oil producer, and produce natural gas in abundance, providing a cleaner-burning fuel that has lowered American carbon emissions even as the economy has grown.
Environmental activists have long pressed the state to end fracking in California. But former Governor Jerry Brown resisted that pressure, and local officials in oil-rich Kern County recently approved a plan for new oil and gas wells in the next 15 years, expanding the state’s overall oil production dramatically.
However, Newsom appears to have changed his mind, in accordance with new commitments to “transition” away from fossil fuels. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday:
Gov. Gavin Newsom is preparing a plan to phase out the oil extraction method known as fracking in California, according to environmentalists who were briefed on the effort.
Newsom is facing pressure to act from environmentalists who oppose fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, after a bill that would have banned it and some other extraction methods died in the Legislature last week.
Fracking only accounts for 2% of production in California, the Chronicle noted, citing state government statistics.
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