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Governors on both coasts are going to battle with oil and gas companies over climate change. Continuing his strong environmental protection agenda, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday announced new regulations putting in place a moratorium on fracking and curbed steam-injected oil drilling in the state, which environmentalists have long opposed. Meanwhile, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo is locked in a “standoff” with natural gas supplier National Grid and has threatened to revoke the company’s license to operate in the southern part of New York unless they resume doing gas hookups for both new and returning customers immediately.
Why This Matters: The California Governor’s actions are not happening out of the blue. In fact, a series of high profile and uncontrolled releases of crude oil and tainted water from Chevron wells in California that began in May and continue today has made the high-pressure cyclic steaming process even more controversial than it had been. Meanwhile, the NY Governor — as well as residents on Long Island — are stuck between the state’s regulators and the company because back in May the regulators denied a permit for construction of additional natural gas infrastructure for climate change and other environmental reasons. The transition away from gas — whether by fracking bans or the denial of additional gas infrastructure — is likely to be the first battleground over how to wean ourselves from fossil fuels.
California’s Permit Moratorium
It has been reported that as a result of this breach, more than 900,000 gallons of oil and brine have been released from the Chevron facility, for which the State has been fined $2.7 million. The decision seems like a prudent precaution to obviously problematic conditions at the Chevron facility that would lead to questions about whether high-pressure cyclic steaming can be done safely or should be prohibited altogether.
The rationale for California’s moratorium is to improve oversight and public safety related to fracking, and new fracking permits will only be allowed after undergoing and independent scientific review by experts at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer A plan to build the first utility-scale offshore wind project near Cape Cod— The Vineyard Wind project— has been delayed once again. The project has been delayed over a year as the federal government has requested increasingly rigorous permits. A final permit for the Vineyard Wind project had been […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer The city of San Jose, CA will become the largest city in the United States to ban natural gas from all new construction. The San Jose City Council is expected to approve a proposal that forbids natural gas use in new commercial and high-rise residential buildings, expanding an earlier […]
Chicago-based Invenergy announced this week that it will construct at a site in northeastern Texas a $1.6 billion project that will provide 1,310-megawatts of solar energy by 2023. The project is likely to create approximately 600 jobs during the construction, as well as bring in more than $250 million in landowner payments and $200 million in […]
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