Jason Marshal was appointed acting supervisor of DOGGR effective last Thursday. The next day he ordered Chevron to "take all measures" to stop the flow of oil at the spill. That order came after the division issued two notices of violation against Chevron in connection with the spill and required a halt to similar oil well operations in a 600 feet radius around the site.
Prompted by Wednesday's new leak, the agency expanded its requirements to cease oil work in the area to 1,200 feet.
Meantime, two other state legislators, along with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, are expressing concern about the spill and the agency that's looking into it.
On Thursday Feinstein issued a statement calling the incident "troubling".
"Almost as troubling as the spill itself is that it occurred at multiple times for two months, but we just learned about it," Feinstein said. "This is something the public should have been alerted to earlier. Proper oversight can't occur if incidents like these are kept under wraps."
State Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, who sits on the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, praised the governor for firing Harris.
"That is classic bad government to have the regulatory entity have financial involvement in the industry they're regulating," Skinner said. "We need to do more oversight and hold DOGGR to the expectation that I think all Californians have, which is protect our health and safety and stop this absurdity of allowing the oil industry to put us at risk."
The Kern County petroleum release should generate a conversation about new efforts to transition California away from fossil fuel, argued to Assemblymember Monique Limon, D-Santa Barbara, who sits on the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and represents an area hit hard by past oil spills.
"To have a week where we heard not just about the oil spill but also conflict of interests concerns is a really clear reminder that despite California's best efforts, there's still work to be done," Limon said.