The Trump Administration announced a plan this week to open up more than 1 million acres of land to fracking — a plan environmentalists argue could affect protected national parks.
The Bureau of Land Management released an environmental impact statement on Thursday that considers new oil and gas development on 1.6 million acres across central and Southern California, neighboring Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks. among other sites.
The bureau has not issued any fracking leases since a 2013 court ruling that the agency had violated the National Environmental Policy Act without first considering environmental impacts.
National parks and the Central Valley already suffer from poor air quality and fracking would only pile onto that problem, according to Mark Rose, National Parks Conservation Association’s Sierra Nevada field representative.
“The risks posed to our national parks by further oil and gas development — particularly these iconic treasures that helped to inspire the modern-day conservation movement — is saddening to say the least,” he said.
The planning area is located in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura counties
Trump plan for fracking 1 million acres in California bad for Yosemite, opponents say, by Thaddeus Miller, Merced Sun-Star, April 26, 2019.