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Politics California proposes new oil drilling ban near neighborhoods

14:52  22 october  2021
14:52  22 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

Jane Fonda to push for end to offshore oil drilling in California

  Jane Fonda to push for end to offshore oil drilling in California Actress and environmental activist Jane Fonda will join California state lawmakers on Monday to call for an end to all offshore oil drilling.The award-winning actress will be joined by California state Sens. Dave Min (D), Henry Stern (D), as well as California Assembly member Petrie Norris, according to an advisory sent out from the advocacy group Social Compassion in Legislation."Laguna Beach welcomes Jane Fonda to help shine a spotlight on the detrimental effects of the oil industry on our coastal towns, environment, marine and wildlife, as well as our local economy," the advisory said.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil and gas drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks near oil fields by the Wilmington Boys & Girls Club Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Wilmington, Calif. California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities (Hunter Lee/The Orange County Register via AP) © Provided by Associated Press California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks near oil fields by the Wilmington Boys & Girls Club Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Wilmington, Calif. California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities (Hunter Lee/The Orange County Register via AP)

It's the latest effort by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration to wind down oil production in California, aligning him with environmental advocates pushing to curb the effects of climate change and against the powerful oil industry in the nation's seventh-largest oil producing state.

Aging equipment, spills test ties between oil, California

  Aging equipment, spills test ties between oil, California LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hoping to recover a lost anchor chain, a work boat dragged a grappling hook along the seabed near an oil platform off the Southern California coast. But it hooked something else -- a pipeline carrying crude oil from the towering rig to shore. Once snagged, the 197-foot (60-meter) boat dragged the pipeline until it snapped on one of the drilling platform’s legs. The gushing oil created a slick that ran for miles along the Ventura County coast northwest of Los Angeles.

Studies show living near a drilling site can elevate risks of birth defects, cancer, respiratory problems and other health issues. More than 2 million Californians live within 3,200 feet (975 meters) of oil drilling sites, primarily low-income residents and people of color in Los Angeles County and the Central Valley. The proposal would not ban wells already operating in those zones but would add new pollution controls.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, announces new state efforts to better protect the health of communities next to an oil field in Wilmington, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia) © Provided by Associated Press California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, announces new state efforts to better protect the health of communities next to an oil field in Wilmington, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)

“This is about public health, public safety, clean air, clean water — this is about our kids and our grandkids and our future," Newsom said in Wilmington, a Los Angeles neighborhood with the city's highest concentration of wells. “A greener, cleaner, brighter, more resilient future is in our grasp and this is a commitment to advance that cause."

Ban on new offshore drilling must stay in the Build Back Better Act

  Ban on new offshore drilling must stay in the Build Back Better Act I don't know The oil spill off the coast of Southern California is an ecological and economic disaster. Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of gallons of oil have spilled from an offshore pipeline, and it has spread across the coasts of three counties. Dead birds and fish washed ashore, local beaches were closed, boaters were being asked to stay away, and all fishing was curtailed for the area.Unfortunately, this isn't the first time thisUnfortunately, this isn't the first time this has happened, and it won't be the last as long as offshore drilling continues off our coast.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announces new state efforts to better protect the health of communities near oil fields at a news conference at the Wilmington Boys & Girls Club in Wilmington, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia) © Provided by Associated Press California Gov. Gavin Newsom announces new state efforts to better protect the health of communities near oil fields at a news conference at the Wilmington Boys & Girls Club in Wilmington, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)

The rules are a draft that signal what the administration is seeking, but they could change and won't take effect until at least 2023.

This would be the first time California has set statewide rules on how close drilling can be to homes, schools and other sites. Other oil and gas producing states such as Colorado, Pennsylvania and even Texas have rules about how close oil wells can be to certain properties. Colorado’s 2,000-foot setback on new drilling, adopted last year, is the nation’s strictest rule right now.

California proposes new oil drilling ban near neighborhoods

  California proposes new oil drilling ban near neighborhoods SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities. It's the latest effort by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration to wind down oil production in California, aligning him with environmental advocates pushing to curb the effects of climate change and against the powerful oil industry in the nation's seventh-largest oil producing state.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, at the Wilmington Boys & Girls Club Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Wilmington, Calif. California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities (Hunter Lee/The Orange County Register via AP) © Provided by Associated Press California Gov. Gavin Newsom, at the Wilmington Boys & Girls Club Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Wilmington, Calif. California's oil and gas regulator on Thursday proposed that the state ban new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes and hospitals to protect public health in what would be the nation's largest buffer zone between oil wells and communities (Hunter Lee/The Orange County Register via AP)

California's plan, if adopted, would also go further than the 2,500 foot (762 meter) buffer environmental groups sought. A coalition of environmental justice groups that advocate for Black, brown and Indigenous communities in heavily polluted areas commended the ruling but pushed Newsom to more aggressively phase out existing neighborhood drilling.

“Oil and gas companies have been treating our communities as sacrifice zones for over a century," Juan Flores, community organizer with the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, said in a statement. “Frontline community members have spoken in a clear voice, demanding an end to neighborhood drilling."

California regulator proposes ban on oil drilling near schools, hospitals, homes

  California regulator proposes ban on oil drilling near schools, hospitals, homes A California regulator proposed a statewide ban Thursday on oil and gas drilling within 3,200 feet of schools, homes, and hospitals in order to protect public health, The Associated Press reported. It's the latest effort from the administration of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to slow down oil production in the state, joining the fight with environmental advocates to curb climate change. According to studies, people that live near drilling sites can have higher risks of birth defects, cancer, respiratory problems, and other health issues.

The Western States Petroleum Association, an oil and gas interest group, blasted the proposed rules as an “activist assault on California’s way of life, economy and people” in a statement from President Catherine Reheis-Boyd.

Reheis-Boyd said the industry doesn’t oppose local setbacks but does not approve of a statewide rule. She said the rules would lead to less reliable energy and higher prices in an industry that employs about 150,000 people.

Robbie Hunter of the influential State Building and Construction Trades Council, a labor union, said the rule would increase California’s dependence on foreign oil, and said the state was “fast becoming a beached whale with no ability to meet its own needs.”

Newsom, who just survived a recall election, cast the proposal as the latest step in his efforts to ensure oil is not part of California's future. He has directed state air regulators to make a plan to end oil and gas production by 2045 and curb demand by banning the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035.

He was joined in Wilmington by state lawmakers who have long pushed for setbacks and doctors who spoke about the dangers of oil pollution for people who live nearby, particularly expectant mothers and children.

“I am tired of my district being called ‘asthma alley,'" said state Sen. Lena Gonzalez, a Democrat who represents southeast Los Angeles County.

California plan to ban community oil drilling far from final

  California plan to ban community oil drilling far from final SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Environmental groups were cautiously optimistic about California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to ban new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of schools and homes, but the oil industry and labor allies warned the plan would raise California energy prices and potentially bring political consequences for the governor. The ambitious proposal, announced Thursday, would create the nation's largest buffer zone between wells and community sites, but it has a long way to go before it becomes official policy in the nation's seventh-largest oil producing state.

The rules were proposed by the California Geologic Energy Management Division, known as CalGEM, which regulates the state’s oil industry and issues drilling permits. Newsom directed it to focus on health and safety when he took office in 2019, specifically telling the division to consider setbacks around oil drilling to protect community health. The state received more than 40,000 public comments on the draft rules and convened a 15-member panel of public health experts to research the effects of neighborhood oil drilling on health and safety.

CalGEM has long faced criticism that it’s too cozy with the industry it regulates. Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the state natural resources agency, acknowledged the regulator needs to better enforce oil companies’ compliance with state law.

Wells within 3,200 feet of community sites account for about a third of the state’s oil extraction, Crowfoot said. There are about 32,400 wells in that zone, said Erin Mellon, a Newsom spokeswoman. Community sites include homes and apartments, preschools and K-12 schools, day cares, businesses, and health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.

Existing wells would not be shut down but would be required to meet many new pollution control measures, including comprehensive leak detection and response plans, vapor recovery, water sampling and a reduction of nighttime lighting and dust. They are designed to limit health effects such as asthma and pregnancy complications, and cut nuisances like noise pollution.

Administration officials said they hope the new rules will be burdensome enough to prompt some drillers to close the wells. Operators would be financially responsible for meeting the requirements and have one to two years to do so.

Jared Blumenfeld, California's environmental protection secretary, said the rules signal to existing drillers that “they’re going to have to invest a significant amount of time, money and attention in order to get into compliance."

EXPLAINER: California proposes limits on community drilling .
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An ambitious plan by California regulators to block new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet (975 meters) of schools and homes is drawing protests from the oil industry and plaudits from environmentalists, who still want the state to go further. But the plan released Thursday is just a first step, and things are far from settled. Here's a look at what's in the proposal, how it came about and what's next: WHAT WOULDBut the plan released Thursday is just a first step, and things are far from settled.

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