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California Bill to Affirm Local Choice on Oil, Gas Operations Passes Assembly

by Center for Biological Diversity
Measure Clarifies Local Authority to Limit or Ban Oil, Gas Operations
Measure Clarifies Local Authority to Limit or Ban Oil, Gas Operations
SACRAMENTO, May 22, 2024 — The California Assembly today passed a bill that would affirm local governments’ authority to protect communities by limiting or banning oil and gas operations, methods and locations passed the California Assembly today. The bill passed on a 41 to 13 vote.

Assembly Bill 3233 from Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) is sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity. It affirms the right of communities to make decisions about oil and gas operations that pose grave threats to public health, wildlife and the climate.

“We’re on the brink of a huge victory for cities and counties trying to protect their residents from oil and gas pollution,” said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “We need the Senate and the governor to follow the Assembly’s lead and pass this vital bill to fight back against oil industry legal threats and intimidation.”

“Monterey County residents are counting on the state to protect our longstanding local authority to decide when, where and how oil and gas projects can operate in our communities,” said Dr. Laura Solorio, president of Protect Monterey County. “These decisions belong with cities and counties and the people who live in them.”

In recent years, communities like Monterey, San Benito and Los Angeles have taken steps to limit oil and gas operations. Such local measures have faced fierce oil industry opposition.

In Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. County of Monterey, the California Supreme Court in 2023 overturned parts of Monterey’s overwhelmingly voter-approved Measure Z that would have phased out wastewater disposal and banned the drilling of new wells. The oil industry has weaponized that decision to attack local ordinances that limit drilling, such as those passed in the city and county of Los Angeles.

Assembly Bill 3233 would clarify local authority to protect frontline communities and other residents from dangerous pollution, safety hazards and greenhouse gas emissions caused by fossil-fuel extraction.

The bill now goes to the California Senate and if passed will go to the governor to sign into law.


Photo: Oil well in California. Credit: Drew Bird Photography.


The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.


https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/california-bill-to-affirm-local-choice-on-oil-gas-operations-passes-assembly-2024-05-22/
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