California Governor Signs Bill Limiting Oil, Gas Development

Credit: Jae C. Hong/AP.
This 16 January 2015 file photo shows pumpjacks operating at the Kern River Oil Field in Bakersfield, California. California Gov. Gavin Newsom on 12 October signed a law intended to counter Trump administration plans to increase oil and gas production on protected public land.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on 12 October signed a law intended to counter Trump administration plans to increase oil and gas production on protected public land.

The measure bars any California leasing authority from allowing pipelines or other oil and gas infrastructure to be built on state property. It makes it difficult for drilling to occur because federally protected areas are adjacent to state-owned land.

The law sends a "clear message to (President Donald) Trump that we will fight to protect these beautiful lands for current and future generations," said Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, who introduced it.

Ann Alexander, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, praised the law and other environmental measures the governor has signed.

"These bills are important steps toward prioritizing California's communities over the oil industry," Alexander said. "In a perfect California, we wouldn't be producing or using oil at all, and we hope to get there soon. But, in the California we live in now, the governor and the legislature have recognized the need to protect our citizens from the threats that the oil industry poses to our health and environment."

Read the full story here.

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