LOS ANGELES – The federal government wants to reopen over 1.7 million acres (690,000 hectacres) in California to oil and gas drilling that includes fracking on land that has been off-limits since environmentalists sued in 2013.
The Bureau of Land Management issued final plans Thursday for oil and gas leases on 800,000 acres (324,000 hectacres) of federal land mainly between the Central Coast and Central Valley.
The move comes less than a month after the agency issued a draft plan to allow drilling on over 1 million acres (405,000 hectacres) in counties surrounding the Bakersfield area.
The move is part of the Trump administration’s broader goal of making the U.S. energy independent, which has been which decried as a giveaway to industry.
Environmentalists who had successfully blocked the Obama administration’s efforts criticized efforts to revive the plans.