A bill seeking to ban hydraulic fracturing along with more common methods of oil extraction within the state of California was killed in the state Senate Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday.
The result delivers considerable relief to the state’s still-sizable energy sector and its unionized workforce.
The deeply-Democratic legislature found itself in a bind over two sets of competing interests with deep favor: organized labor and environmentalists.
The legislation, Senate Bill 467 drafted by Sen. Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco), would have come to force in 2023 with an eye toward banning fracking, along with methods that use water, steam, or acid to procure oil from the ground by 2035.
Two Valley legislators on the Senate panel – Sens. Shannon Grove (R–Bakersfield) and Susan Eggman (D–Stockton) voted against the proposal.
The bill served as a response to a call from Gov. Gavin Newsom to ban the practice of fracking in California.
Newsom has a complicated relationship with fracking. While publicly opposing the energy extraction method, his administration issued a number of permits to Kern County energy firms.
The issuance, discovered to the dismay of environmentalists, prompted Newsom to fire the agency chief in charge of issuing the permits.
This story will be updated.