SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Environmental groups were cautiously optimistic about California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to ban new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of schools and homes, but the oil industry and labor allies warned the plan would raise California energy prices and potentially bring political consequences for the governor.

The ambitious proposal, announced Thursday, would create the nation’s largest buffer zone between wells and community sites, but it has a long way to go before it becomes official policy in the nation’s seventh-largest oil producing state. It would not shut down existing wells within the 3,200-foot (975-meter) zone but subject them to new pollution controls.

Newsom’s administration pointed to studies that show living near a drilling site can elevate the risks of birth defects, respiratory problems and other health issues. More than 2 million Californians are estimated to live within that distance of drilling, mostly in Los Angeles and Kern counties.

“This is about public health, public safety, clean air, clean water — this is about our kids and our grandkids and our future,” Newsom said in Wilmington, a Los Angeles neighborhood with the city’s highest concentration of wells. “A greener, cleaner, brighter, more resilient future is in our grasp, and this is a commitment to advance that cause.”

It’s the latest in a series of bold proposals the Democratic governor,…

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