Gov. Newsom announced a plan to end fracking in California by 2024, and a long-term strategy to phase out oil extraction by 2045.
California is the first state in the country to make this step.
Newsom directed agencies to cease issuing new fracking permits by 2024, and called it the next step in achieving carbon neutrality.
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, fracking involves getting fossil fuels from the ground using drills, water, chemicals and more. It can contaminate water and release harmful chemicals into the air. Chemicals can also affect the people at the worksites and nearby communities.
On the Central Coast, fracking and oil extraction are big contributors to the local economy.
“Oil production in California is a big part of our economy," Kevin Slagle, the Vice President of Strategic Communications for the Western States Petroleum Association, said. "It employs tens of thousands of people. Fracking is about 17% of production in the state. So a ban would mean job losses for tens of thousands of people...For consumers, there will be real impacts. 30% of the oil used in California gets produced in California. If we’re not producing it here, it gets shipped in from different parts of the globe. Which increases costs, increases environmental impacts.”
Santa Barbara County Supervisor, Gregg Hart, acknowledged the difficulty in the industry transition.
“The critical piece is to make sure that the people who are impacted by that transition from our traditional energy sources to renewable sources are part of that future," he said. "Through job training and investment and making sure intentionally that we look out for those folks who might be impacted by that process.”
Rebecca August, Director of Advocacy at the Los Padres ForestWatch, said this was a step forward.
“We’re the fifth-largest economy in the world and we’re the first state to make such a commitment, and phasing out oil development would protect you know our air, our climate, biodiversity, and water, and it’s super super exciting," August said.