Trump Signs Executive Order That Could Open California Coastal Waters to New Drilling

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President Trump has signed an executive order that could open large parts of the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans to new oil and gas drilling, creating yet another clash with California, where leaders are vowing they will do everything in their power to block new drilling off the state’s shores.

A surfer watches the waves off the northern Ventura County coastline along the Rincon Beach area with two oil rigs visible in the background. (Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)

Trump’s move, which is certain to face legal and political challenges, could undo a plan finalized late in President Obama’s second term that sought to limit fossil fuel development and fight climate change by not including new drilling leases off the coast of California or Alaska during the current five-year federal offshore plan, which extends through 2022.

Many leaders in California have long sought a permanent ban on new leasing offshore, and they reacted swiftly to the possibility that drilling could expand.

Trump promised the directive “will make America energy secure” and “create greater prosperity and security for all Americans.”

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