By Andrew Sheeler and Hannah Wiley, SACRAMENTO BEE - CAPITOL ALERT

April 16, 2020

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article24…

Five dozen climate, health and environmental organizations have sent a letter to Gov. Newsom, urging him “to reject the efforts by the oil industry to exploit this emergency as an excuse to roll back regulatory oversight.”

The groups urged Newsom to roll back the Geologic Energy Management Division’s recent decision to resume issuing permits for fracking, and to reject a call from the California Independent Petroleum Association “proposing that you reverse your effort to improve the oversight capabilities of CalGEM to provide enhanced field enforcement of regulations and protections at oil field operations and to evaluate the state bonding requirements for oil operators,” the letter said.

The groups warned that the Geologic Energy Management Division is “dangerously understaffed.”

Some of the signatory groups include the Center for Biological DiversityConsumer WatchdogFood & Water Watch and Greenpeace USA.

The petroleum association’s chief executive officer, Rock Zierman, put out a statement in response to the letter, stating, “CIPA has asked the state to take reasonable action to protect the economy, stabilize our energy security, and ensure California meets its climate goals by continuing to produce the cleanest oil on the planet. The state can take prudent action today to stay on track with our climate goals and keep oil workers on our companies’ payrolls rather than on taxpayer-funded public assistance programs that are already overwhelmed.”