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Judge allows Kern to resume oil permitting


Oil pumps are visible in every direction on China Grade Loop in northeast Bakersfield in this file photo from May.

A court ruling issued Wednesday allows Kern government to resume oilfield permitting — a big win for an industry that has seen a significant slowdown in local activity after a local judge identified problems with an extensive environmental assessment undergirding the county's review process.

Kern County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Pulskamp discharged a writ that in October 2021 removed the county's authority to approve projects and returned it to state officials who local oil producers complained were taking too long to issue permits.