Imagine thousands of new jobs, lower gas prices, billions in more tax revenues—without raising taxes. That is what President Trump wants to do. California Democrats prefer high gas prices, more taxes and lots more low paying jobs.
“The Trump administration moved forward Thursday with its plan to open up federal land in California’s Central Valley and Central Coast to more oil and gas drilling, including fracking.
The Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Office released new documents on its proposal for oil and gas leasing and development on the public land it administers. The field office’s boundaries stretch across 11 California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus.
The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group that opposes the plan, estimates that the proposal could open up roughly 725,000 acres of federally managed land and subsurface mineral estate to oil and gas leasing.
Elections have consequences—maybe the Trump judges will return legality to California government?
Becerra announces fracking lawsuit against Trump administration
California, the third-largest oil
producing state in the nation, on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, sued the Trump
administration to reinstate an Obama-era rule governing hydraulic fracturing,
commonly referred to as fracking.
The Trump administration moved
forward Thursday with its plan to open up federal land in California’s Central
Valley and Central Coast to more oil and gas drilling, including fracking.
The Bureau of Land Management
Central Coast Office released new documents on its proposal for oil and gas
leasing and development on the public land it administers. The field office’s
boundaries stretch across 11 California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa,
Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara,
Santa Cruz and Stanislaus.
The Center for Biological Diversity,
an environmental group that opposes the plan, estimates that the proposal could
open up roughly 725,000 acres of federally managed land and subsurface mineral
estate to oil and gas leasing.
“From Monterey to the Bay Area, the
president wants to let oil companies drill and spill their way across our
beloved public lands and wildlife habitat,” Clare Lakewood, a senior attorney
at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “As we fight
climate chaos, there’s no justification for any new drilling and fracking, let
alone this outrageous assault on our pristine wild places.”
The administration insists it is
abiding by the the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal
Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 as it promotes responsible energy
The agency’s plan could result in up
to 37 new oil and gas wells drilling on
new land leases over the next 20 years, primarily in
Fresno, Monterey and San Benito counties, according to the BLM’s preferred
plan. BLM estimates that the oil and gas industry directly supports 3,000 jobs
and $623 million in tax revenue within those counties.
A separate Bureau of Land Management
office in Bakersfield already released
a supplemental environmental impact statement
last month that considers new oil and gas development on 1.6 million acres of
public land across another region of California, which includes Fresno, Kern,
Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties. The
planning area includes about 400,000 acres of public land and 1.2 million acres
of federal mineral estate, according to the report.
That plan calls for the use of
hydraulic fracturing on 40 new wells over the next 10 years. The extraction
method is currently primarily used in California to enhance oil production in
the San Joaquin Valley, home to some of the largest producing
oil fields in the country.
The bureau has not issued any
fracking leases since a 2013 court ruling that the agency had violated the
National Environmental Policy Act without first considering environmental
impacts of the practice.
The Western States Petroleum
Association, an industry lobbying group, lauded the agency’s plan and said the
environmental review proves that fracking is safe.
“We’re pleased that after five
years, the process worked and the federal government has reaffirmed that
hydraulic fracturing is a safe method of production in California,” said
spokesperson Kara Greene. “We look forward to being part of the discussions to
ensure we continue to safely produce affordable reliable energy to California
consumers while meeting the policy needs of the state.”
While California remains one of the
largest oil producing states in the nation, production has steadily declined over
the last three decades.
Thousands of Californians submitted
comments to the agency in protest of the plan to open more land for drilling
and fracking. Among the
concerns are increased air pollution and potential contamination of groundwater,
a limited resource in Central California.
Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa
Barbara, also criticized the administration’s proposal to expand drilling. He
called it a “step backward” in the context of efforts to limit the potential
harm of climate change by reducing consumption of fossil fuels.
“The Central Coast is already facing
grave impacts from climate change, including rising sea levels, drought, and a
nearly year-round fire season,” Carbajal said in a statement. “The
administration’s plan to open public lands to fracking and oil development is a
step backward given the increasingly urgent warnings from our scientific
community on the unchecked effects of climate change.”
The Federal Register notice
published Thursday announced the release of a Resource Management Plan (RMP)
amendment and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). People will have 30
days to protest the plan after its is published, the notice says.
Hydraulic fracturing is currently
used on between 10 to 20 percent of all oil and gas wells on public lands in
Central California managed by the Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field
Office. Courtesy of BLM, Bakersfield Field Office.
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