California has been deeply involved with the oil and gas business since the first wooden derricks were erected in sleepy Kern County in the 19th century. But these days California is flush with laws, regulations and goals that will likely cause the state to eventually sever its long relationship with fossil fuels.
One of the flashpoints in that still-evolving association is hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—the controversial high-pressure pumping of chemicals and water into underground rock to crack it open and release oil. Former Gov. Jerry Brown declined to ban fracking despite intense pressure from anti-oil activists but signed into law a requirement that all chemicals used in the process be disclosed.