This story was produced in collaboration with Capital & Main, a nonprofit media publication focused on inequality.
After years of advocacy by frontline communities, California may finally be on the way to implementing a key health and safety regulation to protect communities living near oil and gas extraction facilities. Governor Gavin Newsom announced the new draft ruling from the California Geologic Energy Management Agency, or CalGEM, today in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilmington, one of the most polluted communities in the state. The new ruling will ban the permitting of oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of community sites, including homes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and daycare centers.
California is one of the only oil-producing states that had no regulations on how close oil and gas wells can operate to the places where people live, study, and receive health care. About 2 million Californians currently living within the setback distance of oil and gas wells would be protected by the new ruling; a recent analysis from Grist and Capital & Main showed that 392 schools across the state, serving over a quarter of a million stud... Read more