Gavin Newsom's California Fracking Ban Blasted by Kevin McCarthy

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) criticized California Governor Gavin Newsom's "terrible" plan to ban fracking in the state by 2024, saying it puts thousands of the state's jobs in jeopardy.

McCarthy, who represents California's 23rd congressional district, is the highest-ranking Republican in the House. He lashed out late Friday on Twitter at a ban on the controversial process for extracting oil.

Newsom, a Democrat, wants to phase out hydraulic fracking over the next three years for environmental reasons. He issued an executive order that would see the state stop granting permits for the practice.

"Just terrible," McCarthy wrote, sharing an article about the decision.

"Governor Newsom's announcement will jeopardize hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs in California, lead us away from energy independence, and make the Golden State a more expensive place to live and raise a family."

Representatives of the state's oil industry also took aim at Newsom's plan following the announcement.

"This is an illegal mandate and we will use every means to fight it," oil industry spokesperson Kevin Slagle told Cal Matters.

Newsom's ban on fracking comes amid a larger push to phase out oil extraction in California by 2045. In a statement on Friday, the governor cited climate change.

"The climate crisis is real, and we continue to see the signs every day," Newsom said.

"As we move to swiftly decarbonize our transportation sector and create a healthier future for our children, I've made it clear I don't see a role for fracking in that future and, similarly, believe that California needs to move beyond oil."

Fracking is controversial due to environmental and public health concerns. It involves injecting water and chemicals into underground rocks at high pressure in an effort to extract oil or gas.

Some industry experts say that up to 20 percent of California's oil production is due to fracking, according to NPR, but this figure is disputed. Newsom claimed in September 2020 that it was less than 2 percent.

Newsom's executive order comes after a more ambitious plan to ban oil and gas production failed to pass in the California State Senate.

His decision also cuts across a previous statement he made in September when he said the governor didn't have the authority to ban the practice on his own.

"We simply don't have that authority. That's why we need the Legislature to approve it," Newsom said at the time.

Newsom is facing a likely recall election following a campaign which he's described as a partisan Republican effort. Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner announced she had filed to run for governor on Friday.

Newsweek has asked McCarthy and Newsom for comment on this article.

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy
U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during his weekly news conference June 25, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. McCarthy has criticized California Governor Gavin Newsom's plan to ban fracking. Alex Wong/Getty Images