Sunday, April 4, 2021

CA Fracking Bill to End by 2027

Despite California’s Progress in other areas and Claims that it’s a Climate Leader, California has a Major Fracking Problem. A Bill introduced in the State’s Senate would Change that.

The Legislation, introduced by Sens. Scott Wiener (D-11th District) and Monique Limón (D-19th District), would completely Outlawing Fracking Statewide by 2027.

The Two Sponsors are also aiming to Amend the Bill to include a Shorter-Term Policy, which would Halt All Fracking within 2,500 feet of any Homes, Schools, Healthcare Facilities, Long-Term Care Institutions, including University Dormitories, and Prisons, by Jan. 1st, 2022.

According to the California Geologic Energy Management Division, the State has over 2,000 Active Fracking Wells open right now, and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) just Approved 11 new Ones this month.

In addition, it would also Ban Three other Fossil Fuel Extraction Methods: Acid Well Stimulation Treatments, Cyclic Steaming, and Water and Steam Flooding.

State Data shows that of the nearly 33,000 Active Oil and Gas Wells in California:

- 24 use Acid Treatment

- Over 14,000 use Cyclic Steaming

- Over 4,000 use Water Steaming

- 4,000 use Steam Flooding

The Bill would, in essence, be a Major Step to Wind Down the State’s longstanding Relationship with Fossil Fuel Extraction.

The Bill would require California’s Oil and Gas Regulators to mitigate Job Loss by providing Financial Incentives to Fossil Fuel Remediation Firms to Hire Displaced Workers to do things like Find and Plug Orphan Wells.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said many times that he Favors Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Production in the State, and in November 2019, he even placed a Moratorium on Issuing Fracking Permits. Since Lifting that Temporary Ban he’s issued 94 more Permits to Frack.

If it Passes, the Bill will be a huge win for Communities on the Frontlines of Extraction, who are usually Working Class and of Color. A 2019 Report found that 1.8 Million Californians lived within a Mile of Oil and Gas Extraction Sites, and that more than 90% of them were Black or Brown.

But it’s still very much a Question of if the Bill will pass.

Last year, Legislators attempted to establish Minimum Distances between Fracking Wells and Homes, Schools, and other Facilities, but after it Passed in the State Assembly, the Measure Failed in the State Senate.

Even absent Statewide Action, some Counties and Cities have Banned Fracking or Passed Setback Laws.

Beverly Hills became the First City in the State to Ban the Process in 2014 while Ventura County Passed a Setback Law just last year that will Require at least 2,500 feet of Space between Oil and Gas Wells and Communities.

If California Officials really want to Secure their Spot as Climate Leaders, the new Bill in the State Senate is a Vital avenue to do that.

The Hazards Fracking poses to Human Health and, of course, the Climate, are well Documented. It’s time for California to Cut it Out.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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