Get email updates:

Shouldn’t California consider public health when drilling for oil?

At a time when California is urgently pushing to transition off of fossil fuels and towards renewable alternatives, why is state land-use policy still driven by a “drill-at-any-cost” statute written back in the 1930s?

The answer is simple: because oil and gas interests benefit from policy that prioritizes maximum extraction of oil and gas above all else. But for those of us concerned about the environmental and health impacts of drilling in California, it’s unacceptable.

That’s why Marc—in concert with NRDC, the League of Conservation Voters, and other grassroots organizations—authored AB 1440, which would update this policy to meet our goals in the 21st century. Instead of prioritizing drilling for every last drop of oil, AB 1440 would require that our state’s regulatory agencies consider environmental and health impacts, like air pollution and water contamination, when permitting and overseeing drilling operations.

As our planet heats up to an alarming degree, we should acknowledge that the priorities of the 1930s do not reflect the priorities of 2019. California plays a critical, leading role in the transition away from fossil fuels, so AB 1440 removes references to our state’s interest in maximizing production and minimizing “waste” (unextracted oil). If we succeed in stemming the tide and preventing a climate catastrophe, it will no doubt be the end-result of keeping oil in the ground where it belongs, and AB 1440 acknowledges this.

AB 1440 is a critically overdue piece of the puzzle when it comes to modernizing our state’s extraction policy for the 21st century. Of course, passing it will not be easy. You can bet that big energy companies will fight these common sense reforms every step of the way. But if you agree that we need bold change to drive California forward and lead the way nationally, please sign our petition in support today!


Sign our petition in support of Assembly Bill 1440, Marc’s bill to prioritize the environment and public health when considering new oil drilling projects in California.

Will you sign?