Last week, the Trump administration proposed an oil and gas lease sale in California, which would be the state’s first federal auction in eight years.
Conservationists and activists are furious over this vicious proposal, especially amid the current climate-fueled wildfires ravaging the region. A historic 1.4 million acres have burned so far, reported Resources.
According to EcoWatch, at issue are over 4,300 acres of public land in Kern County, an area recently dubbed “the oil industry’s political power center.” The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a draft environmental assessment of the plan Wednesday for the sales, which would occur by the end of the year.
“It’s breathtakingly vicious for the Trump administration to expand drilling and fracking while California battles historic wildfires driven by climate change. More oil wells mean more greenhouse gases, more air pollution, and more destroyed habitat. Selling this public land to oil companies will do significant harm to our environment, despite the administration’s ridiculous claims,” says Clare Lakewood, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.
Last year, the Trump administration had proposed an offer of over 1 million acres of public land to oil drilling which continues to sit in litigation thanks to the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club.
“We’ve blocked any new federal leasing in California in court for eight years now, and we’ll fight this too,” claims Lakewood.