© 2023 KVPR | Valley Public Radio - White Ash Broadcasting, Inc. :: 89.3 Fresno / 89.1 Bakersfield
89.3 Fresno | 89.1 Bakersfield
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fresno Co. Supervisors make bi-partisan call for more domestic oil production, including fracking

Supervisor standing at Podium surrounded by other supervisors.
Soreath Hok

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday in favor of increasing domestic oil production. All five supervisors appeared at a news conference to voice their support for the resolution, which calls on state and federal legislators to lift regulations on oil producing permits.

“We simply need some executive decision to say in this time of crisis, ‘let's waive some of these regulatory setbacks and allow the industry to meet the demand,’” said supervisor Steven Brandau.

The supervisors want to replace recently banned Russian oil imports with domestic oil, saying it will help with rising fuel costs. Fresno County supervisors said the county produced three million barrels of oil in 2020 and 6 million barrels in 2019, but is capable of producing as much as 10 million barrels a year. Supervisor Buddy Mendes, who’s on the governing board of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, said the county should look into fracking.

“We need to produce more oil in this country and we're not even talking about oil being over $100 a barrel. We should be exploring fracking in the whole west side of Fresno County,” Mendes said. Fracking is the process in which drilling is done to extract oil and gas from shale. Advocates say it increases oil and gas supply and creates jobs, but critics say it has the potential to contaminate groundwater, pollute wastewater and cause air pollution with escaping gas.

California has set an aggressive carbon neutrality goal which phases out oil production by 2045 and bans fracking by 2024. Governor Newsom has also promised to move the state toward less greenhouse gas emissions by banning sales of new gas powered vehicles by 2035.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that California ranks seventh among the states in domestic oil production. Oil production in the state has been insteady decline since the mid 1980s.

Soreath Hok is a multimedia journalist with experience in radio, television and digital production. She is a 2022 National Edward R. Murrow Award winner. At KVPR she covers local government, politics and other local news.