Last August, California passed Senate Bill 1137, which banned new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, day and health care facilities, jails, parks, and businesses open to the public. Oil and gas companies began working, and spending, immediately to file a referendum to overturn the law. That effort, to allow drilling near homes and schools, included asking voters to sign a petition to prevent oil companies from drilling near homes and schools. It has now gathered the required number of signatures to put a referendum on the November 2024 ballot, and delay enforcement of the legislation for more than 18 months.
The Western States Petroleum Association spent $7.3 million on California lobbying last year, more than any other entity, and a coalition of oil firms spent more than $18 million on the referendum between when the law was signed on September 16 and November 24 of last year. Even if the November 2024 referendum ultimately upholds the law, its enforcement is now barred until then. (AP, Politico Pro $; State Lobbying: Politico Pro $)