Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Environmental groups are suing the Trump administration to stop the government from opening 725,000 acres of land in California to what they call "dangerous and polluting techniques," like steam injection and hydraulic fracturing.
The Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity filed the suit against the Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday.
The complaint says plan by the administration to open the land to oil and gas leases carries serious potential consequences.
"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 analysis as the law requires," the 16-page suit states.
The Trump administration wants to let the oil industry lease public lands in 11 California counties -- Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus. The BLM approved the plan earlier this month, which ended a 2014 moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the state."Trump wants to unleash a frenzy of drilling and fracking in some of California's most spectacular landscapes, from the high deserts to conifer forests," said Clare Lakewood, a senior attorney at the CBP. "Oil and gas extraction is a dirty, dangerous business that poisons our water, kills wildlife and worsens the climate crisis.
"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."