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Kern County files lawsuit to sue Newsom over fracking ban

Gavin Newsom
Posted at 11:08 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 02:08:53-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kern County is suing Governor Gavin Newsome for what their legal representation states is Newsome violating a multitude of state laws. This follows the Kern County board of supervisors vote 4-1 back in August to move forward with suing the governor on his decision to ban fracking by 2024.

Kern County ranks first in oil-producing counties and seventh in the United States. According to the lead attorney representing kern in the lawsuit, phasing out in-state oil extraction may phase in other issues.

“The time for talk appears to be over, based on the governor’s recent actions--the time for action is now,” said David Robinson the lead attorney.

Robinson said Newsome’s efforts break multiple state laws, including the separation of power clause.

“Governor Newsom has inexpressibly acknowledged on multiple occasions that he does not have the power to do what he is now doing, which is turning off the oil production in California, by in effect, overriding the will of the legislature,” said Robinson.

He said this puts him in violation of the separation of powers clause since the state legislature already refused to outlaw WST and EOR Technologies for oil extraction. He believes the governor is blocking fracking permits.

“It was after the legislature refused to do that, inciting anger, from the fact that the state agencies were currently following the law and currently allowing this sort of oil production, that he fired the top guy in charge of CalGem, for doing that,” said Robinson.

Since then, Robinson said, zero permits have been approved in the state of California to their understanding.

He adds that the decision to end local fracking could mean outsourcing oil from overseas. The change would have a big impact on Kern County. The industry provides 24,000 jobs to the area and produces over 70% of oil in the state.

“Importing another 30 percent from largely Middle East, largely from Saudi Arabia, largely from Iraq largely from economies that are not particularly largely from economies that are not particularly good on human rights, or on environmental protection,” said Robinson.

23ABC did reach out to the field representative of the one Kern County supervisor who voted against this lawsuit but was not able to get an interview or statement from her in time. However, her field representative said she may have something to say about the lawsuit at tomorrow’s board of supervisors meeting.