“Conservation groups today sued the Trump administration to challenge its Oct. 4 decision to allow fracking and drilling on 725,500 acres of public lands and mineral estate across California’s Central Coast and the Bay Area,” the statement said on Wednesday.
Areas targeted for drilling and fracking are near protected public lands, including the Pinnacles National Park, several state parks and national forests and wilderness areas, which are home to threatened and endangered animals, the release said.
Fracking, an extraction process that blasts chemicals mixed with water to crack underground oil-rich rock formations, is the technology behind the United States’ oil boom of the past five years.
The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in San Francisco, argued the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has violated federal law by failing to consider the potential harm from oil and gas extraction to groundwater and the climate, as well as the potential for fracking-induced earthquakes.
“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,” Center for Biological Diversity senior attorney Clare Lakewood said in the statement.
Oil and gas extraction is a dirty, dangerous business that poisons the water, kills wildlife and worsens the climate crisis, Lakewood added.