According to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle, the California governor has formulated a plan to eventually phase out the practice of hydraulic fracking from California.
According to certain sources in both the California legislature and the fracking industry, Newsom plans to ban the issuance of additional fracking permits in the state of California as early as 2024.
This decision has almost certainly been made under the weight of intense pressure exerted upon Newsom by various environmental groups, who favor the ban due to ostensible concerns about pollution.
According to California’s own official statistics, however, fracking accounts for only 2% of the total energy produced in the state, so even if one were to accept these environmental concerns at face value, it’s far from clear that banning fracking would noticeably improve environmental quality in California.
It’s far more likely that the push for the ban is driven entirely by ideology.
The Anti-Human Agenda of Environmentalists
Hydraulic fracking is a method of extracting oil and natural gas deposits which are hidden behind thick layers of underground rock. Fluid or water vapor is injected into these rock formations at extremely high pressures, thus cracking the rock and allowing oil or gas to emerge from out of the cracks.
As this technique has become more common over the last few years, the U.S. has soared ahead to become the world’s top oil-producing nation and has also been able to produce abundant amounts of natural gas. As all this went on, U.S. carbon emissions have nevertheless fallen.
Environmental activists, however, are still not satisfied, as they seem to favor the elimination of any method of energy production that can actually generate high yields. Former California governor Jerry Brown faced similar pressure by environmental groups to eliminate fracking, though he did not cave to this pressure. A bill that would ban fracking entirely in California has also recently failed to pass the California state legislature. Therefore, to get what they want, environmental activists have started turning the screws on Newsom.
This is all the more striking given the fact that Kern County, California, recently approved a plan to build new oil and gas wells over the course of the next 15 years. Newsom initially appeared to support the measure but has since changed his mind.
California has long been a laboratory for many of the most extreme of progressive proposals. The results, generally speaking, have not been encouraging. If this latest proposal is enacted, we can expect similarly dismal consequences.