California To Deny Permits For Trump Offshore Drilling Plan: Report
California will block the transportation through its state of petroleum from new offshore oil rigs, Reuters reported, citing state officials. The move is meant to wreck the Trump administration’s effort to vastly expand drilling in U.S. federal waters.
According to the news agency, California’s plan to deny pipeline permits for transporting oil from new leases off the Pacific Coast is the most forceful step yet by coastal states trying to halt the biggest proposed expansion in decades of federal oil and gas leasing.
“I am resolved that not a single drop from Trump’s new oil plan ever makes landfall in California,” Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, chair of the State Lands Commission and a Democratic candidate for governor, told Reuters in an emailed statement.
The commission sent a letter on Wednesday to the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) urging the bureau’s program manager Kelly Hammerle to withdraw the draft proposal, saying the public did not have an adequate opportunity to provide input on the plan.
”It is certain that the state would not approve new pipelines or allow use of existing pipelines to transport oil from new leases onshore,” the commission wrote in the letter seen by Reuters.
California has clashed repeatedly with President Donald Trump’s administration over a range of other issues since last year, from climate change to automobile efficiency standards to immigration.
The Interior Department last month announced its proposal to open nearly all U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, sparking protests from coastal states, environmentalists and the tourism industry.
But the Golden State is not alone in its effort to thwart Trump’s assault on the environment.
Officials in Florida, North and South Carolina, Delaware and Washington, have also warned drilling could despoil beaches, harm wildlife and hurt lucrative tourism industries and are planning similar action.
Governors from nearly every U.S. coastal state except Alaska and Maine expressed opposition, and even Alaska’s governor have asked the Interior Department to exempt them from the drilling plan. So far, Secretary Ryan Zinke has said he would exempt Florida, which houses President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort.