The Trump administration has finalized plans to open over 720,000 acres of public lands across California’s Central Coast and the Bay Area to new oil and gas leasing, paving the way for more fracking to soon begin in the state.
The decision was issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on October 4th in their Record of Decision for the Central Coast Field Office Resource Management Plan Amendment for Oil and Gas Leasing and Development. In the ROD, BLM announced 37 new oil and gas leases will be developed over 20 years in the contested region. 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.
Surfrider Foundation was one of numerous organizations that opposed to the plan through submitting formal comments and alerting our volunteer network. Over the 30-day protest period, prior to the announcement, BLM received more than 400 objections of its proposed leasing plan, but officials ruled that none of them was valid.
Fracking is an extreme oil-extraction process that blasts toxic chemicals mixed with water underground to crack rocks. The process has harmful impacts to groundwater basins, watersheds and surface waters and ultimately our oceans.
One piece of hope for California’s federal lands is AB 342(Muratsuchi), a bill Surfrider supported, which Governor Newsom signed into law on October 13th. The new law is intended to counter the Trump administration plans to increase oil and gas production by prohibiting any state entity from entering into an agreement to authorize pipelines or other oil- or gas-related infrastructure built on state-owned land.
Instead of pushing for outdated and destructive ways to meet America’s energy needs, we should seek a comprehensive and environmentally sustainable plan that includes energy conservation. We will continue to work with our partners and network to protect these beautiful lands for current and future generations.