The U.S. government moved Thursday toward allowing new oil and gas drilling on wide swaths of federal land in California that has been off-limits since environmentalists sued in 2013.
The Bureau of Land Management issued final plans for oil and gas leases on about 800,000 acres (323,755 hectares) in Central California. That comes less than a month after the agency issued a draft plan to allow drilling on more than 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) surrounding the Bakersfield area.
In the Bay Area, the sites include land in and around Mount Diablo State Park near Walnut Creek, and Butano State Park near Pescadero, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The move is part of the Trump administration’s broader goal to dramatically expand oil and gas development nationwide and make the U.S. energy independent. The effort, decried as a giveaway to industry and a desecration of public lands, has been frequently stalled by local opposition and court challenges.View Article