Fracking will continue in California. A bill to ban oil and gas production within 2,500 feet of a home, school, hospital or other residential facility fell short of the five votes it needed to move forth after the Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee failed to get the vote.
While California is a major U.S. oil producer, urban democratic senators were hoping to change the state’s course and take a lead on the climate crisis.
“Obviously I’m very disappointed,” Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), one of the bill’s two co-sponsors, said. “California really has not done what it needs to do in terms of addressing the oil problem. We have communities that are suffering right now, and the Legislature has repeatedly failed to act.”
According to EcoWatch, inland lawmakers in oil-rich areas were mostly concerned about jobs and opposed it. Four senators approved the bill11`, while Democrat Sen. Susan Eggman of Stockton joined two Republicans to oppose it, while two other Democrats abstained, EcoWatch reported. The oil and gas industry along with trade unions also opposed the bill.
Wiener and Sen. Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) co-sponsored the bill and vowed to keep fighting.
“While we saw this effort defeated today, this issue isn’t going away,” they said in a joint statement. “We’ll continue to fight for aggressive climate action, against harmful drilling, and for the health of our communities.”