The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

California Officials:
At the Beck and Call of Big Polluters

Dec 7, 2020

In September, California Governor Gavin Newsom, with great fanfare, claimed California’s place as leader in the fight against global warming: he said by 2035, California will issue permits to electric vehicles only.

What a joke! California remains a haven for oil companies using highly dirty and dangerous drilling methods such as fracking and steam injection.

CalGEM, the state agency that is supposed to watch for hazardous oil drilling in California, has not even been following its own regulations, according to an audit conducted by the state of California. In 2019 alone, CalGEM issued hundreds of permits for new oil wells, which use fracking and steam injection, without the required paperwork and reviews. Fracking and high-pressure steam injection are known to cause contamination of the groundwater and water wells—very bad for the people and land of California, but very profitable for the oil companies!

And Governor Gavin Newsom has approved a bunch of fracking permits himself, violating his own moratorium on fracking.

The first fracking permits Newsom approved were for Aera Energy, a joint venture of oil industry heavyweights Shell and ExxonMobil. Newsom is apparently best friends with lobbyist Jason Kinney, whose firm represents Aera. Recently, Newsom violated his own COVID-related recommendations to attend the indoors birthday party of Kinney at a very expensive French restaurant—and got caught on camera!

No, California is not any different than the rest of the country. The politicians are little more than servants to the big oil companies that have turned California into their own private dump, polluting the soil and water at will in the name of unbounded profit.