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Indybay Feature
Fri Oct 11 2019 (Updated 10/12/19)
Trump Opens 725,500 Acres of California’s Central Coast to Oil Drilling
Moratorium on Leasing Federal Public Land to Oil Companies in California Ends
On October 4, the Trump administration dismissed protests and made a formal decision to open 725,500 acres of public lands and mineral estate across California’s Central Coast and the Bay Area to new oil and gas drilling and fracking. The public lands the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has earmarked for leasing are in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus. The move will end a more than five-year-old moratorium on leasing federal public land and mineral estate in the state to oil companies.

The BLM has not held a single lease sale in California since 2013, when a judge ruled that the agency violated the law by issuing oil leases in Monterey and Fresno Counties without considering the risks of fracking. The ruling responded to a suit brought by the Center and the Sierra Club challenging a BLM decision to auction off about 2,500 acres of land in those counties to oil companies.

Fracking is an extreme oil-extraction process that blasts toxic chemicals mixed with water underground to crack rocks. According to the BLM, about 90 percent of new oil and gas wells on public lands are fracked. A 2015 report from the California Council on Science and Technology concluded that fracking in California happens at unusually shallow depths, dangerously close to underground drinking water supplies, with unusually high concentrations of toxic chemicals.

Read More: Trump Bucks Protests, Opens 725,500 Acres of California’s Central Coast to Oil Drilling | Trump Administration to Dredge San Francisco Bay to Make Room for More Oil | 90,000 Comments Submitted Opposing Plan for New Drilling and Fracking on Public Lands | Sign Our Petition to Stop Oil Drilling on Mt. Diablo and Everywhere | Rallies in Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara to Oppose Trump's Oil-leasing Plan for California | Trump's Oil Drilling Plan Includes Locations in the Santa Cruz Mountains | Trump Finalizes Plan to Open 725,500 Acres of California's Central Coast to Drilling, Fracking | Trump Releases Plan to Reopen California Public Lands to Drilling, Fracking

See Also: USGS report reveals oil waste fluid contaminates CA groundwater | New Report Reveals that 'Green' California Seeks to Expand Oil and Gas Operations | California regulators continue to allow oil field wastewater injection into aquifers | Governor Newsom orders firing of top oil regulator after fracking increases by 103% | California’s Biggest Secret? How Big Oil Has Expanded Drilling Under Brown & Newsom | Legislation to mandate setbacks from oil drilling sites becomes two-year bill

Related Feature: Trump Admin Plans New Oil Drilling in Bay Area, Along Central Coast
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