Trump administration continues to lean hard into fossil fuel development

Credit: Bob Wick/BLM

In case you were unsure where the Trump administration stands on fossil fuels: The Bureau of Land Management took multiple actions this week that could open up massive areas of California and Alaska to new, industrial-scale oil development. On Tuesday, the BLM announced it would prepare a development plan and study for increased oil drilling in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, following ConocoPhillips’s request to build five new drill pads and 250 more wells, along with roads and pipelines to support the expansion. This ecologically sensitive region is the largest parcel of public land in the country and supports threatened polar bears, caribou, and migratory birds. A day after their first announcement, the BLM asked for public comment on opening up more than a million acres of public land and mineral estate to oil drilling and fracking in central California, which would be the first oil lease sales in the state since 2013. The Trump administration must be unfazed by the recent apocalyptic weather or the alarming new study warning of the inevitable “hothouse” effect if we refuse to curb carbon emissions. 

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