The appropriations committee of California’s Assembly has sidetracked a proposed bill that would have established stringent setback requirements for oil and natural gas drilling, effectively killing the legislation until at least next year.
Assembly Bill (AB) 345 author Al Muratsuchi confirmed that the proposal to establish a 2,500-foot setback rule, among other things, is dead. The issue emerged in April as somewhat of a back-burner issue raised by the Southern California lawmaker. The bill was similar to one that was defeated at the Colorado polls last November.
Muratsuchi spokesperson Kerry Jacob told NGI’s Shale Daily that the proposal “might be able to be taken up” again next year.
California Resources Corp. CEO Todd Stevens, representing the state’s largest producer, said he is used to dealing with “misguided and irresponsible” legislative proposals, but usually cooler heads prevail during the legislative process.
The Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee voted out the measure on a 7-3 vote but it failed to advance further.
California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman said the legislature’s economic analysis had found the bill would cost the state up to $3.5 billion in lost tax revenue and expose it to significant litigation costs on an annual basis.
“A half-mile setback has no basis in science,” he said. “It’s simply an end run to ban production in California.”
Between 2007 and 2017, California oil production declined 28%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
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