Governor Newsom Fires California’s Top Oil and Gas Regulator

Governor Newsom is firing the state’s top oil and gas regulator. Newsom’s Chief of Staff asked the Natural Resources Secretary yesterday to dismiss Ken Harris. Harris is being fired over an increase in state permits for hydraulic fracturing and allegations of conflict of interest among senior officials. The request came after advocacy groups released reports showing regulators had been issuing permits for fracking permits at twice the rate this year compared to last year. The data also showed some employees at the department own stock in companies that they regulate. Harris led the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources in 2015.