Anti-fracking public hearing set in Hollister

HOLLISTER - Anti-fracking activists will attend a public hearing Wednesday in Hollister to oppose the Trump administration’s plan to open hundreds of thousands of acres of public land in California to oil drilling and fracking.

Officials said the hearing is part of the Bureau of Land Management’s effort to resume leasing public land in California to oil companies.

The BLM has not held an oil-lease sale in the state since 2013, when a federal judge ruled that the agency violated the law by issuing oil leases in Monterey County without considering the environmental risks of fracking.

According to officials under the Trump administration, the agency is considering auctioning off more than 700,000 acres of public land and mineral estate in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus counties.

However, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Alameda counties have already banned fracking.

"We can't let oil companies pollute our air and water. Turning this public land over to the oil industry would also harm our climate at a time when California must move away from dirty fossil fuels," said Hollin Kretzmann.

The hearing will be Wednesday at 4t o 6 p.m. at the San Juan Oaks Golf Club in Hollister.

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