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San Benito
June 21, 2024

Comment period starts for oil drilling on county’s public lands

Courtesy of Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s office:

The Bureau of Land Management’s Central Coast Field Office released a proposal for oil and gas exploitation on the central coast of California.

The administration wants to open more than 700,000 acres of public land to new oil and gas drilling. Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Fresno counties are included in the proposal.

The proposed resource management plan amendment (RMPA) and final environmental impact statement (EIS) will be published in the Federal Register today, beginning a 30-day protest period and 60-day governor’s consistency review.

Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) encourages all residents to participate in the public comment period and share their opinions on opening federal land to oil and gas leases.

“Our community is concerned about expanded oil and gas exploitation on the Central Coast. It is critical that we share our opinion of the proposal directly with this Administration. I encourage everyone to speak out and participate in this public comment period,” said Congressman Panetta.

Information about this planning effort, along with the agency preferred alternative and instructions for filing a protest is available online at:  https://go.usa.gov/xmP8V. Formal public protests, pertaining to the analysis presented in the proposed RMPA/final EIS, will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of the NOA in the Federal Register. Pending the outcome of the protest period and governor’s consistency review, the BLM will issue a Record of Decision.

Tips for submitting effective comments can be found here.

This planning document analyzes six alternative approaches to oil and gas leasing and development, specifies which BLM-managed public lands or subsurface Federal mineral estate would be open to future oil and gas leasing, and provides the stipulations or restrictions that would be applied to protect resources.  The land-use management decisions resulting from this planning effort would affect Federal mineral estate managed by the CCFO, primarily located in Fresno, Monterey, and San Benito counties.