For Immediate Release
November 19, 2019
Contact: Kathryn Phillips 916-893-8494 (mobile)
Governor Newsom Launches Action to Protect Public Health from Oil Production in California
SACRAMENTO, CA—Today Governor Gavin Newsom announced three initiatives to protect public health and the environment from oil production while advancing California’s carbon-neutrality goal and managing the decline of oil production and consumption in California.
The announcement establishes a moratorium on new oil extraction wells that use high-pressure steam to break oil formations below the ground. That will be combined with an independent study of that process, its links to surface expressions of oil, and whether it needs to be permanently halted.
The state will also begin a regulatory process to protect public health and safety of people living and working near oil and gas extraction facilities. Additionally, the governor is ordering an audit of hydraulic fracturing permits and reviewing the current permitting process to protect public health.
Statement from Kathryn Phillips, Director, Sierra Club California:
“For too many decades, Californians in oil production regions have been exposed to the worst effects of the oil industry’s power. Today, with his latest actions, the governor has made it clear that all Californians deserve a shot at a healthy life and the oil industry’s greed and power won’t stop that.
“Governor Newsom said he wasn’t intimidated by the oil industry when he ran for office. He promised he would find a way to protect California’s environment and public health from that harmful industry. Today he took a huge step toward making good on that promise.
“This latest series of actions is more than any governor has done in a single day to rein in oil pollution.”
Sierra Club California is the legislative and regulatory advocacy arm of the 13 Sierra Club chapters in California, representing more than 500,000 members and supporters statewide.