BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kern County officially filed suit against Governor Gavin Newsom for violating the California Constitution as a result of "an unprecedented attack on its residents and in a fight for economic survival, as well as in response to an unprecedented attack on the environment and the rest of our State’s economy."
Last month, the Kern County Board of Supervisors announced that it planned to take action against the governor after Newsom announced he was taking action to phase out all fracking by 2024. The board voted 4 to 1 in favor of suing the governor.
In a letter released Monday, David A. Robinson with Holland & Knight LLP announced that the County of Kern had sued the governor for violating the state's constitution and "disregarding multiple state laws."
In the letter, Robinson states that "California law thus expressly allows in-state oil production using 'known' and 'prudent' extraction technologies such as well stimulation treatments ('WST') and enhanced oil recovery ('EOR') — the very technologies required to keep Kern County’s, and much of our Nation’s, oil and gas fields viable."
However, Robinson argues that after the state legislature refused to outlaw WST and EOR technologies, Newsom "expressed 'anger'" and fired a state official that had been issuing new oil permits. A Newsom appointee then stopped issuing WST and EOR permits.
The letter goes on to say:
"In short, 'heedless of the law and unfaithful to the California Constitution he swore to uphold,' contrary to the needs of thousands of workers, families, schools and other governmental services dependent on Kern County’s oil and gas industry, and contrary to the forecasted harm to our State’s air quality, increased pollution, increased sea, rail and ground traffic, harm to consumers and disproportionate harm on minority and low-income populations, Governor Newsom has declared himself above the law. The County’s lawsuit asks the Court to stop this power grab and return control to California’s elected Legislature."
You can read the full letter below: