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Aug 26 (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Wednesday said it planned to hold a sale of oil and gas leases in California before the end of the year, in what would be the first drilling auction in the Golden State since 2013.
The move is likely to put the Trump administration on a collision course with left-leaning California, which has challenged the federal government repeatedly over its efforts to roll back climate change rules and promote fossil fuels.
Federal drilling auctions in California were halted in 2013 after state officials filed lawsuits challenging the practice on environmental and health grounds, fueled by widespread public opposition to fossil fuels.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday published an environmental review for seven land parcels covering 4,330 acres that it plans to offer in or adjacent to existing oilfields in Kern County, it said in a statement.
“The BLM is a key contributor to the Trump Administration’s priority for American energy independence through an all-of-the-above strategy that includes oil and gas, strategic minerals and renewable sources such as wind, geothermal and solar – all of which can be found on public lands,” it said.
The public may submit comments on the document by Sept. 25.
California had accused the Trump administration of failing to adequately consider the adverse effects drilling would have on the people and environment in the state after the government first proposed restarting drilling leases there, according to a lawsuit the state filed in January here. (Reporting by Nichola Groom Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)
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