The state oil industry’s success last week in putting a contentious referendum on the November 2024 ballot has broadly escalated its conflict with Gov. Gavin Newsom and his anti-petroleum allies.

Of immediate interest to Kern County oil producers was that Friday's certification by the California Secretary of State put a halt to weeks-old regulations that had effectively banned drilling within 3,200 feet of a home, school or other gathering place, unless it was to maintain existing production.