California Fracking Ban Dies In Committee

A bill that would have banned fracking in California failed to make it out of committee Tuesday without enough Democratic support, dashing the hopes of progressives and environmental groups that the state would outlaw the practice.

SB467 would have banned new hydraulic fracturing permits starting in 2022, prohibited fracking altogether by 2027 and enacted a 2,500-foot buffer zone around existing wells, preventing them from operating near schools, homes and healthcare facilities.

The bill would have banned other oil extraction methods such as acid well stimulation treatments, cyclic steaming, steam flooding and water flooding.

The bill fell one vote short of making it out of the Senate Natural Resources Committee after four Democratic state senators abstained, effectively killing the bill this session.

The measure was heavily opposed by trade unions and the oil and gas industry, which argued the bill would essentially halt all oil production in the state, forcing California to rely on oil from other states or countries that don’t have as rigorous environmental safeguards for oil extraction.