SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom is firing California’s top oil and gas regulator over an increase in state permits for hydraulic fracturing and allegations of conflict of interest among senior officials.
Newsom’s chief of staff asked the state’s natural resources secretary to fire Ken Harris on Thursday.
Ann O’Leary’s request came hours after advocacy groups Consumer Watchdog and and FracTracker Allliance released a report showing officials working in the division of oil and gas own stock in companies they are responsible for regulating. It also showed the department has drastically increased fracking permits.
Harris has led the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources in 2015.
O’Leary says Newsom was unaware of the increase in fracking permits and that he is concerned about fracking’s environmental impact.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place