Gov. Gavin Newsom announced an ambitious proposal Thursday that would ban new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools and healthcare facilities. The policy would also require new pollution monitoring at existing wells.
The rules would would go into effect in 2023 at the earliest. They would impact over 2 million residents and thousands of wells in Los Angeles and Kern counties.
A UC Berkeley study found links between oil and gas wells and adverse health effects for pregnant women and their babies. More than 5.4 million Californians live within one mile of an oil or gas well, according to a 2014 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“We don’t see oil in our future,” Newsom said Thursday.
The proposal comes at a challenging time for California’s oil industry, which is facing increased scrutiny in the aftermath of the recent oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach. Last week, the Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach city councils voted for resolutions supporting a permanent ban on offshore drilling.