Kern County to Sue Governor Over Fracking Ban Attempt

In a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the Kern County Board of Supervisors authorized a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom for a series of fracking permit denials which it says violate the state constitution.

The state has denied dozens of fracking permits to Kern-based energy companies since July. State Oil and Gas Supervisor Uduak-Joe Ntuk, who heads the California Geologic Energy Management (CalGEM) division, cited the need to ensure “public health and safety and environmental quality, including [the] reduction and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Several months ago, Newsom directed CalGEM to come up with a plan to end new fracking permits by 2024. That decision came after a fracking ban died in the Legislature.

“The decisions (Newsom) has made to unilaterally come after the oil and gas industry in violation of standing rules and standing law, that’s been established by the state Legislature, has been a gross overreach of his power,” Kern County Board of Supervisors Chairman Phillip Peters said. “He’s supposed to be executing the laws, not decreeing them. So we’re going to try and push back on that.”

Read more about the impending lawsuit at Governing and