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Rally planned before San Luis Obispo hearing on potential oil drilling on public lands

Posted at 9:02 PM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 00:02:54-04

A rally is planned for the upcoming Bureau of Land Management meeting in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday.

The Center for Biological Diversity is organizing the rally and is opposed to the Trump Administration’s draft plan to open more than a million acres of public land and mineral estate for potential oil drilling and fracking.

The rally will be held at 5 p.m. outside the Embassy Suites, prior to the BLM hearing on fracking. That meeting will not focus on the potential opening of land, but rather the potential environmental impacts with the use of fracking.

In April, BLM released a draft “environmental impact statement” proposing to open up 1,011,470 acres of public land and federal mineral estate in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties to fossil fuel extraction.

The Center for Biological Diversity points out the plan would end a five-year-old moratorium on leasing federal public land in the state to oil companies. In 2013, a federal judge ruled that BLM had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by issuing oil leases in Monterey County without considering fracking’s environmental impacts. A lease has not been issued since then.

Speakers include San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon, a representative for U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, and Northern Chumash Tribal Council Chairman Fred Collins, as well as others.

The hearing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.