Last Thursday, Governor Newsom announced CalGem’s draft rule requiring new oil and gas well drilling to have 3,200ft (~1km) setbacks from homes, schools, community centers and other sensitive receptors.

Congratulations to Voices in Solidarity Against Oil in Neighborhoods (Vision Allies) and its many coalition partners who have been advocating for this for years. Living near oil and gas operations is dangerous to human health. Last week’s release of the draft public health & safety rule from the @CAgovernor’s administration is a first step to finally destroy a long legacy of environmental racism in the Golden State.

You can watch the Governor’s press conference in Wilmington here –
YouTube: Highlighting State Efforts to Protect Public Health and Safety

For years, frontline environmental justice communities have called on CalGEM to consider the health impacts of neighborhood drilling, including: cancer, preterm birth and low birth weights, asthma and other respiratory diseases, hospitalization for heart failure, fatigue, stress, and severe cases of COVID-19. Neighborhood drilling threatens life expectancy overwhelmingly impacts low-income communities and communities of color, a clear form of environmental racism.

Neena Mohan, Climate Justice Manager with the California Environmental Justice Alliance:

“After years of delay, we are encouraged by this announcement from the Newsom administration, which sends a strong signal that oil and gas has no place in neighborhoods. We’re ready to carry this rule home and make sure it actually accomplishes what we need it to accomplish: the end of neighborhood oil and gas drilling. If the final rule doesn’t do that, then it’s not enough. Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian immigrant communities deserve neighborhoods free from air, water and soil pollution. We know today’s announcement of 3,200 ft setbacks for frontline communities is just a first, critical step. Oil and gas executives won’t let neighborhood oil drilling end without a fight  — and we’ll keep fighting for working people until every person’s right to clean air in every neighborhood is guaranteed.”

GEC encourages everyone to follow up by calling the Governor’s office at (877) 434-0011 to thank him and to encourage him to strengthen this rule going forward! We celebrate this news today and look forward to working alongside the coalition toward a just transition and a fossil free future!