Consumer Watchdog Applauds Bill To Ban All Dangerous Forms Of Oil Extraction Including Hydraulic Fracturing

Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog today welcomed newly introduced state legislation—SB 467—to ban fracking and a host of other more commonly employed and dangerous techniques used to coax stubborn-and-hard to reach oil and gas out of the ground.

Newsom Administration Doubles New Oil And Gas Production Well Permits, Misses Deadline for Drilling Setback Rule

Los Angeles, CA — California oil regulators more than doubled the dispensing of permits in 2020 to drill new oil and gas production wells, issuing more than 1,700 in 2020, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance reported today. 

At the same time, the Newsom Administration failed to meet its own New Year’s Eve deadline for a draft rule designating the safe distance for drilling from a community, giving itself until Spring.  Public interest groups who have pushed for a 2,500-foot setback are troubled by the delay. States such as Colorado have instituted setbacks of 2,000 feet.

Newsom Administration Issues Six More Fracking Permits To Aera Energy Consumer Watchdog Says

Los Angeles, CA — The Newsom Administration issued six more fracking permits to Aera Energy late on Friday afternoon at a time of great risk to the environment and to the public health of affected communities also exposed to Covid 19, Consumer Watchdog said today.

The number of fracking permits issued this year—despite a nine-month moratorium imposed by Newsom that ended last April—now comes to 54 issued to Aera and Chevron. 

CA Regulators Issue 6 New Fracking Permits Yesterday, Bringing The Total This Year To 54

By Dan Bacher, RED GREEN & BLUE

October 17, 2020

http://redgreenandblue.org/2020/10/17/ca-regulators-issue-6-new-frackin…

The agency approved the permits after an independent technical review by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, according to Matt Baker, Deputy Secretary for Energy of the California Natural Resources Agency.

The All-Star Economic Task Force Advising Newsom During The Pandemic Remains A Mystery

By Phil Willon, LOS ANGELES TIMES

August 10, 2020

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-10/newsom-coronavirus-…

SACRAMENTO —  Faced with a pandemic that has put millions of Californians out of work and eviscerated businesses large and small, Gov. Gavin Newsom promised that “health and science” would guide state officials in repairing the economy and steering it toward recovery.

CalGEM Regulators Divest Oil Stocks In Wake Of Consumer Watchdog Conflicts Probe

 Los Angeles, CA — Oil and gas regulators at the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) no longer hold oil stocks or other interests in the sector that they regulate in a radical departure from past practices, Consumer Watchdog said today.

A new conflict of interest policy at the division’s parent agency, the Department of Conservation (DOC), now prohibits such investments without explicit written approval by DOC’s director.

Proof of Harm To CA’s Unborn From Proximity To Oil Wells Proves Need For Barrier Between Wells And People, Says Consumer Watchdog

Los Angeles, CA — The first definitive study showing perinatal harm from oil production in California to pregnant mothers proves that the state must institute a barrier of 2,500 feet between residents and oil wells and stop issuing new oil permits for wells within that zone, Consumer Watchdog said today.

California Study Finds Lower Birth Weights Near Oil, Gas Wells

Study looked at 3 million birth certificates and oil, gas info - Low birth weights found in rural areas near active wells

By Emily C. Dooley, BLOOMBERG

June 3, 2020

Pregnant women living in rural areas close to active oil and gas wells are at higher risk o f having babies that weigh less than those born in urban areas, a study of millions of birth records in California shows.

Coalition Slams Newsom Administration For Approving 24 New Fracking Permits

By Dan Bacher, SF INDYBAY MEDIA

April 11, 2020

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/04/11/18832287.php

The issuing of new fracking permits took place less than two months after Consumer Watchdog and the FracTracker Alliance reported that the total number of oil and gas well permits issued in 2019 under the Newsom Administration rivals the number issued during the last year in office of former Governor Jerry Brown.

California Issues First New Fracking Permits Since July

By Adam Beam, ASSOCIATED PRESS

April 4, 2020

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/california-issues-first-new-fracking-…

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California issued 24 hydraulic fracturing permits on Friday, authorizing the first new oil wells in the state since July of last year and angering environmental groups who have been pressuring the state to ban the procedure known as fracking.

Number Of Oil And Gas Well Permits Issued By Newsom Administration In 2019 Rivals Number Issued In Gov. Jerry Brown’s Last Year In Office

Los Angeles, CA—The total number of oil and gas well permits issued in 2019 under the Newsom Administration rivals the number issued in 2018 during the last year in office of former Governor Jerry Brown, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance reported today. The Newsom Administration issued just 1% fewer permits for a total of 4,545 versus 4,590 for all of 2018.

Consumer Watchdog Applauds Departure of Another Regulator Who Protected Big Oil As Hopeful Sign Of Major Reform Under Gov. Newsom

Los Angeles, CA - Consumer Watchdog hailed the imminent departure of the Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, widely seen as an impediment to environmental reform, as a sign that Governor Newsom plans to overhaul the way oil and gas is regulated in the state.

Why is the Oil Industry Harassing Consumer Watchdog?

As Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Michael Hiltzik lays out in his column today in the Los Angeles Times, the world’s biggest oil and gas companies have wasted over 500 hours of Consumer Watchdog’s legal time over the last 18 months trying to get a peek at how we know what we know about the oil industry.  Thank you to Consumer Watchdog staff attorney Danny Sternberg for all his hard work defending the organization.