Kern political leaders blast Newsom

Taft Midway Driller

Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement last week that he would end fracking in California by 2024 and get the oil industry out of the state by 2045 drew immediate and harsh criticism from Kern County's political leaders.

Assemblyman Vince Fong called it "irresponsible" and a direct attack on the Central Valley" just minutes after the announcement came from Newsom's office

“This is out-of-touch behavior at its finest," Fong said. "These irresponsible energy policies are the reason why Californians pay the highest gas prices in the nation. Make no mistake, this is a direct attack on the Central Valley—this order kills our jobs, economies, and worsens everyone’s quality of life. California continues to go in the wrong direction with these tone deaf decisions.”Fong 

Congressman Kevin McCarthy responded Friday afternoon to Newsom’s latest actions:

“Today’s announcement by Governor Newsom to ban fracking and phase-out all oil and gas production in California is a transparent attempt to appeal to extremist environmental groups, and I vehemently oppose this action," McCarthy said. "Unfortunately, nearly 366,000 good-paying jobs supported by the oil and gas industry in our state, 71% of which come from right here in Kern County, are now at risk of being jeopardized. This move will also drive-up gas prices at the pump and lead California away from energy independence, ultimately making our state more vulnerable to and reliant on foreign competitors to meet our energy needs. Rather than putting the good of all Californians first, Newsom is irresponsibly making California a more expensive place to live and raise a family.”

Pumping units off Kerto Road in Maricopa area

Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner, whose Second District includes Taft and Maricopa, issued the following statement:

“Newsom’s announcement today continues his misguided and heartless attack on Kern County communities and families, where the oil and gas industry contributes nearly $200 million in property taxes to local governments and schools, provides 17,000 good-paying direct jobs, and twice that number of indirect jobs,” said Supervisor Zack Scrivner.  “Kern County’s oil and gas industry has the cleanest and safest standard of production in the world, but Newsom inexplicably prefers to supply California’s growing demand for oil from foreign countries with terrible environmental standards and loathsome human rights records.  Newsom, and his radical environmentalist allies continue to tell the lie that green energy will replace the lost tax dollars to the County of Kern after they destroy our oil industry, but they refuse to end solar energy’s statewide property tax exclusion, resulting in only $1.5 million in annual property taxes compared to the $80 million annually that oil and gas contribute.” 

Under this directive, CalGEM will immediately initiate rulemaking to halt the issuance of new hydraulic fracturing permits by 2024.  Additionally, Governor Newsom requested that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) analyze pathways to phase out oil extraction across the state by no later than 2045."

Shannon Grove's office released this statement from State Sen. Republican Leader Scott Wilk(R-Santa Clarita)

“Governor Newsom is creating two Californias by waging war on the Central Valley. This is the second time this week he has disregarded the needs of the Valley. First, it was a regional drought declaration that benefited his Chardonnay and Brie friends, but snubbed food-producing farmers. Now it is a move to kill jobs by attacking the oil and gas industry. His commitment to ‘equity’ does not extend to ordinary inland Californians. What happened to the Governor’s fight for a ‘California for all’?”