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Trump Administration Opens California to New Oil Drilling; Possibly Bay Area, Too

The Trump administration’s latest effort to dramatically boost oil and gas production is landing in California, with the Interior Department on Friday opening up 720,000 acres between the Bay Area and Fresno to potential drilling.

The move gives an immediate go-ahead to 14 drilling leases in San Benito, Monterey and Fresno counties, mostly projects near existing drill sites, projects that have been pursued for years by fossil fuel companies looking to expand.

The Interior Secretary Wants to Enlarge a Dam. An Old Lobbying Client Would Benefit.

For years, the Interior Department resisted proposals to raise the height of its towering Shasta Dam in Northern California. The department’s own scientists and researchers concluded that doing so would endanger rare plants and animals in the area, as well as the bald eagle, and devastate the West Coast’s salmon industry downstream.