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California Quits Issuing Fracking Permits


According to an article on Bakersfield.com, the administration of Gov. Gavin Newsom has imposed a de-facto moratorium on hydraulic fracturing while it studies permitting procedures.

State records show not one frac job has been approved in California since June 28, about two weeks before Newsom ordered the state's top oil regulator fired. The dismissal was carried out partly because of a spike in fracking permits during the first half of this year, when approvals were coming at an average of about 35 per month.

The indefinite halt to fracking permitting is not altogether surprising in light of Newsom's stated concerns about fracking and increased pressure by environmental activists to end the practice and in-state oil production itself.

Even so, the unannounced moratorium renews regulatory uncertainties thought to have been resolved when state lawmakers voted in 2014 to put in place California's first rules governing fracking.