Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a press release Friday that he has ordered the state’s Department of Conservation to “end the issuance of new permits for hydraulic fracturing” — also known as fracking — by the start of 2024.
The statement also said the governor hopes to “phase out oil extraction across the state by no later than 2045.”
“The climate crisis is real, and we continue to see the signs every day,” Newsom said. “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.”
An issue of authority?
According to the Washington Examiner, the move marks a change from the governor’s previous stance on the issue. As recently as last fall, Newsom claimed amid pressure from activists that his office didn’t have the authority to ban fracking in the Golden State without help from the state legislature.
“We simply don’t have that authority. That’s why we need the legislature to approve it,” the governor reportedly said.
A proposal first put forth in February by a pair of Democrat lawmakers on the issue of fracking that the Examiner described as “more ambitious than Newsom’s” fell flat in the California state Senate earlier this month.
Within weeks, Newsom stepped in. The governor touted his new directive, which has received criticism from progressives for not being “aggressive enough,” in a tweet published Friday.
“California is now the first state to declare an end to oil extraction in the country,” Newsom boasted. “Today, we’re announcing that we will phase out all oil extraction — as part of a world-leading effort to achieve carbon neutrality — and ban fracking by 2024.”
Newsom’s pricey endeavors
The order from Newsom is just the latest in a series of climate change initiatives the governor has signed in recent months. Last September, he gave his stamp of approval to a ban on new gas-powered vehicles that will go into effect in 2035, as the Examiner reported.
In an executive order issued soon after, Newsom established a goal to conserve 30% of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030 “to fight species loss and ecosystem destruction.”
“Once again, California is taking on the mantle of global climate leadership and advancing bold strategies to fight climate change,” the governor said in a statement. “California’s beautiful natural and working lands are an important tool to help slow and avert catastrophic climate change, and today’s executive order provides important new tools to take on this existential threat.”
Unsurprisingly, the statement made no mention of how much such an effort is set to cost Golden State taxpayers.