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California Launches Rulemaking To Ban Fracking In 2024

California initiated on Friday the pre-rulemaking stage of proposed legislation that would end fracking in the state in 2024.

The Department of Conservation, Geologic Energy Management Division released pre-rulemaking draft regulations for the purpose of receiving ?public input on the development of a rule that ends permitting for well stimulation treatments in? 2024. The comment period ends on July 4, 2021, and the division will review the comments and consider them in developing proposed regulations for formal rulemaking.

The department’s launch of the pre-rulemaking process is a follow-up to last month’s move from California Governor Gavin Newsom, who directed CalGEM to initiate regulatory action to end the issuance of new fracking permits by January 2024.

“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,” Governor Newsom said last month.

The latest action from the Governor, who has said in the past that he himself lacks the authority to ban fracking via executive order, is yet another sign of California’s goal to lead U.S. efforts in decarbonization and clean energy adoption.

The planned fracking ban itself is not expected to significantly impact oil production in the seventh-largest oil-producing state in the United States, because hydraulic fracturing accounts for just 2 percent of total oil production in California.

The possible ending of all oil production by 2045, however, would be a big deal and not just a symbolic move from the U.S. state looking to lead environmental justice in America.

While environmental advocates cheered Governor Newsom’s action, oil industry associations and trade organizations expressed concern that the end of fracking and phase-out of all oil extraction would result in job losses and increased dependence on foreign oil imports, including those from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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