Environmental groups sue Trump administration over drilling plan

Environmental groups on Wednesday filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s plan to open up hundreds of thousands of acres of land in California to oil and gas drilling. 

The Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over the plan to open more than 700,000 acres of land to oil and gas lease sales.

“Defendants failed to consider meaningful alternatives to the plan amendment, failed to analyze and disclose the environmental impacts, and denied the public the opportunity to comment on its environmental analyses as the law requires,” the lawsuit reads.

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It also says the plan opens the land up to “dangerous and polluting techniques like steam injection and hydraulic fracturing.”

Neither the Department of Justice nor BLM immediately responded to The Hill’s request for comment. 

BLM spokeswoman Sarah Webster told Reuters in a statement that the suit was under agency review. 

She said the administration’s decision “strikes a balance between resource conservation and energy development consistent with BLM’s mission for managing the lands for multiple use and sustained yield.”

The wire service previously reported that the administration had announced approval for the plan earlier this month.

“Oil and gas extraction is a dirty, dangerous business that poisons our water, kills wildlife and worsens the climate crisis,”Clare Lakewood, senior Center for Biological Diversity attorney, said in a statement. 

“It’s reckless and illegal for Trump officials to open our public lands to oil companies without considering the human and environmental costs. We’re taking them to court to keep this planet livable for our kids,” Lakewood added.  

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