A California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bill that will increase prices and the need to import foreign oil advanced from the Assembly to the Senate last week.
The CalChamber labeled AB 345 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) a job killer because it threatens to eliminate thousands of high-paying California jobs, result in California importing even more foreign oil, and raise oil and gas prices.
AB 345 requires the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) to adopt regulations with predisposed setback requirements for new and existing oil and gas wells.
CalGEM announced in November 2019 a series of initiatives and formal rulemaking to safeguard public health and the environment, as well as advance California’s goal to become carbon-neutral by 2045.
The actions include a rulemaking process considering the best available science and data to inform any new protective requirements. It will involve consulting with environmental and public health advocates, as well as public health authorities, including the California Department of Public Health, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and other health experts.
AB 345 puts the cart before the horse by requiring CalGEM to adopt regulations likely requiring the exact same 2,500 feet minimum setback requirements that existed in the prior versions of the bill, politicizing the rulemaking by predisposing an outcome before an analysis has even begun.