Business · California

Chevron sues Calif. to overturn fracking ban

Chevron is taking another crack at trying to get California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban on fracking overturned. 

Last week, the oil and natural gas company sued the state in the Kern County Superior Court to remove the ban that will be in place by 2024. 

In the lawsuit, Chevron claims the state broke the law by rejecting applications for drilling permits that met the legal requirements for approval. 

“[The state’s] denial of Chevron U.S.A.’s permit here is part of [the state’s] unlawful effort to ban WST (well stimulation treatments) activities in California entirely, by executive fiat, outside of the required legislative and administrative processes,” the lawsuit reads. 

Chevron also says in the lawsuit that it appears the state has not approved any fracking permits in the last year. 

Last April, Newsom announced the state’s intention to not issue any more fracking permits by 2024, but that deadline looks to have been effectively in place since before his announcement. 

Newsom also revealed last year that the state is seeking to halt all oil drilling by 2045. 

With the denial of its fracking permits, Chevron argued in the lawsuit that only the Legislature has the power to stop fracking, per the rules lawmakers wrote regarding fracking in 2013. 

Chevron argues that Newsom’s “de facto moratorium” breaks California law since such a decision should be up to the legislature. 

CalGEM’s denial of Chevron’s applications did not site any technical, safety or environmental deficiency, Chevron said, “because there is none.” 

Chevron is seeking a reversal of its permit denials on the grounds of an unconstitutional taking of its vested property rights without prior compensation.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.