Earlier this week. Sens. Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, and Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced Senate Bill 467, which would ban fracking and other oil extraction methods starting Jan. 1, 2022.
SB 467 would also halt the issuance or renewal of permits for acid well stimulation treatment, cyclic steaming, and water and steam flooding, while also prohibiting these extraction methods entirely starting Jan. 1, 2027.
The bill would also prohibit all new or renewed permits for oil and gas extraction within 2,500 feet of any homes, schools, healthcare facilities or long-term care institutions such as dormitories or prisons, by Jan. 1, 2022. The setbacks portion of the bill is expected to be amended into SB 467 within the next 30 days, due to administrative reasons, officials said.
Environmental advocates argue that these types of production and extraction methods pose significant risks to the environment and public health. The legislation also contains provisions to facilitate a transition of oil workers to jobs in well remediation and sealing.
“It’s meaningful for my district to join Senator Wiener as a joint author on this bill,” Sen. Limón said in a statement. “As I often say, ‘if there’s not a bill, there’s not a conversation,’ and it is necessary to have these conversations at the state level about environmental impacts and public health as oil production continues near our homes and schools. This bill continues robust policy conversations on fossil fuels and alternative energy production that have been going on for decades.
“Even more important is that we have these conversations simultaneously as President Biden takes action on pausing new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters.”
The bill’s introduction comes several months after Gov. Gavin Newsom called on the Legislature to ban fracking. Environmental groups argue that when an oil or gas well is drilled, only 5 to 15% of the oil is recoverable without additional production and extraction methods that further stimulate the well. The various methods that “pose serious danger to the environment and our water supply, and cause a myriad of negative health impacts on nearby communities,” would be banned under SB 467.
SB 467 is sponsored by the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment and Voices in Solidarity Against Oil in Neighborhoods. It is jointly authored by Sens. Wiener and Limón and is co-authored by Sen. Ben Allen, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblymembers Mark Stone, D-Santa Cruz and Ash Kalra, D-San Jose.
“Climate change is not a theoretical future threat — it’s an existential threat to our community and is having devastating impacts right now,” Sen. Wiener said in a statement. “We have no time to waste, and California must lead on climate action, including transitioning to a 100% clean energy economy. Extracting massive amounts of oil — particularly with destructive techniques such as fracking — is totally inconsistent with California’s commitment to a sustainable climate future. And drilling for oil near where people live or go to school is deeply harmful to community health, particularly for the communities of color near which oil extraction is most likely to be located. It’s time to transition away from these oil extraction methods, protect our community’s health and water supply, and create a brighter future for our state and our planet.”