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McCarthy asks Newsom to let California's oil industry help make up for ban on Russian oil imports

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy reentered California energy politics Tuesday with a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom calling for looser oil permitting — including a repeal of the governor's ban on fracking — to help dull economic pain expected from President Joe Biden's move earlier in the day to halt U.S. imports of Russian crude.

The Bakersfield Republican wrote that allowing greater in-state oil and gas production, especially in his oil-rich home county of Kern, could offset up to 43 percent of U.S. dependence on Russian oil imports while also helping stabilize domestic fuel prices and allowing greater assistance to U.S. allies in the form of energy exports.