California residents know that the state in which they live is rich with many natural resources. Among these resources are oil and gas. While necessary for most people’s everyday lives to run as they do, the collection and use of oil and natural gas can be a source of contention among politicians, business people and citizens. In California, this has led to a halting of leasing federal land to oil and gas companies for several years with the last lease sale on record taking place in 2013. This, however, may be set to change in the near future.
The current presidential administration has recently made two announcements providing information on its intention to open up more than 1.7 million acres of private and public land throughout the state for oil and gas exploration. As reported by The Los Angeles Times, the latest announcement concerns more than 725,000 acres in the central portion of the state staring in the San Joaquin Valley and running west to the coast. The region spans 11 counties with the bulk of the land falling in San Benito, Monterey and Fresno Counties.
It is anticipated that as many as 37 new oil and gas wells may be created on this land over the span of two decades. Slightly more than 42,000 of the acres would not be allowed to have surface level equipment but more than 683,000 acres would be opened up for oil and gas drilling.
Some residents and politicians in the state are pushing back on this plan but, for now, this is the intended direction per the administration.