Fracking rig operates next to a walking and bike way for residents of Signal Hill drilling into the Los Angeles Oil Field. Photo by Sarah Craig.

Gov. Newsom leads on public health, except when it comes to the oil industry

By Rosanna Esparza and Ashley Hernandez, The Sacramento Bee

ACTION ALERT: Send Governor Newsom a message now to reverse his decision and halt fracking.


California Governor Gavin Newsom approved 24 new fracking permits for the state in the midst of shelter-at-home mandates as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

  • Though Newsom is doing great at keeping Californians safe during this pandemic, his leadership and aggressive policies should apply to regulating and shutting down the oil industry as well
  • Pollution from oil wells is prevalent in places such as Kern County and South Los Angeles, leading these areas to have higher rates of respiratory issues
  • The oil industry has successfully lobbied the federal government in efforts to suspend environmental regulations regarding pollution due to the coronavirus. Now the California Independent Oil Producers Association has sent letters to the Governor asking him to halt plans to hire new positions at California’s oil regulating body intended to focus on enforcement
  • Governor Newsom should prioritize public health in our most vulnerable communities and not the needs of the fossil fuel industry

Increased air pollution from fires and fossil fuel emissions makes all of us more vulnerable to the current COVID-19 pandemic. With community energy resilience we can ensure that our power is clean and not further contributing to emissions in our communities. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.

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The collapse of the US fracking industry, in seven charts

by Tim McDonnell, Quartz


  • Failing prices are a hard blow for many of these companies, who need oil prices of at least $30 to be profitable. Stocks that were once over $100 a share are now dipping dramatically and the top largest fracking companies in the US can’t turn a profit.

    • Whiting Petroleum, a fracking company that recently filed for bankruptcy, formally traded at $150 a share more recently closed at 67 cents
    • West Texas intermediate crude fell from around $60 per barrel to $20 this week
    • In some local markets in Texas and Canada prices have even fallen below $10
    • In Wyoming, the price for one obscure form of dense oil just went negative
  • Analytics firm Rystad Energy reports that the fracking industry will be $133 billion in debt between now and 2026 
  • Coronavirus, travel restrictions, and social distancing will cause demand for oil to plummet by at least 20% this year
  • The number of oil rigs coming offline is increasing and the number of new rigs will be low

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean electricity a major step towards achieving the Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform.

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U.S. fracking giants prepare for repeat of 2016 collapse, expect little help from Wall Street

by David Wethe, Bloomberg


Major fracking companies are expecting to crash and don’t anticipate receiving financial help from Wall Street, potentially paving the way for more renewable energy projects.

  • Though drilling rig numbers have dropped in the past, the current decline could come much faster this time according to fracking giant Schlumberger Ltd.
  • Halliburton, the world’s leader in fracking, is planning for the possibility that nearly two-thirds of rigs in North America could be shut down by the end of the year
  • The U.S. oil rig count could potentially see a 70% drop over a six-month period, surpassing lows last seen in 2016
  • Financial markets are not quick to support the fracking industry, as many investments are focused on more clean energy efforts

The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California platform aims to secure a positive transition for workers and their families whose livelihoods depend on fossil fuel industries. Endorse the platform here

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