The executive order states that to “protect the health and safety of our communities and workers the State must focus on the impacts of oil extraction as it transitions away from fossil fuel, by working to end the issuance of new hydraulic fracturing permits by 2024.”
“I don’t see this happening elsewhere. I don’t think we should be taking any steps to get rid of fossil fuels, for example. And, by the way, there should be consumer choice for all automobiles, and that includes electric automobiles.
“It just sounds very extreme to me.”
Newsom’s plans would not signify a blanket ban on fossil-fuel cars by 2035, as Californians will still be allowed own and drive them, or buy and sell them on the used-car market. Likewise, the order does not affect conventional oil production in the state of California.
Newsom said he believed the order was one of the most serious initiatives in California’s history—while also being “symbolic.”
CriticismThe American Petroleum Institute (API) criticized what it called “a zero-emissions mandate in a state that has struggled to keep the lights on,” referring to a series of rolling blackouts in California in August and September.
According to the API, Newsom’s support for a ban on fracking would also impact the state’s natural gas and oil industry—a key driver of the state’s economy and a huge source of both employment and taxation revenue.
“Today’s announcement to curb in-state production of energy will put thousands of workers in the Central Valley, Los Angeles basin, and Central Coast on the state’s overloaded unemployment program, drive up energy costs when consumers can least afford it, and hurt California’s fight to lower global greenhouse gas emissions,” said California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman.
“Instead of creating our own local energy, each year California relies more and more upon foreign oil, which isn’t produced with our strong environmental protections nor does it generate desperately needed local and state tax revenue.
“At a time when Californians pay more for energy while experiencing man-made ‘green outs,' it doesn’t make sense to hurt consumers, our economy, and our environment by banning California production.”
The Sierra Club also called on Newsom to go further, to cease permitting new oil and gas drilling, pipelines, and infrastructure, and to phase out oil production and refining in California. The organization said California should move to “accelerate the building of solar, storage, wind and other clean technologies so that all our electricity is 100 percent zero-carbon by 2030.”
“So much more needs to happen here and across the country,” Phillips said.
At a Democratic presidential debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in March, however, Biden had said, “No more, no new fracking.”