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Newsom administration stops approving fracking permits - for now

Bakersfield, Calif (KBAK/KBFX) — Governor Newsom has quietly halted fracking permits in California.

This move came just two weeks before Newsom fired the state’s top oil and gas supervisor. Since then not a single permit has been approved since June 28.

The governor’s office forwarded our request for comment to the California Department of Conservation.

Assistant director Teresa Schilling said in a statement, “The administration has been working to develop a thorough understanding of the permit approval process to ensure all permits meet regulatory requirements.”

Aera Energy LLC, a local oil producer, has dozens of permits in limbo.

Cindy Pollard, a spokeswoman for the Aera, said Aera supports the move to review the permitting process.

“We believe it’s absolutely the right thing to do because we think that it's important that the public have confidence in the process," Pollard said.

Pollard says Aera is flexible and they are no impacts just yet, but with no end in sight, time could equal money - lots of money. The latest study found central valley oil generated 3.2 billion dollars in state.

And the way Aera sees it, California oil is already some of the most responsible oil in the world.

“So, if you’re talking about energy that’s produced, clean safely environmentally responsible and if you take a look at the human rights policies and practices that we have here in the United States, California oil really is your best bet,” Pollard said.

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