Oil Drilling on California’s Federal Lands Set to Resume After 8 Years, Sets up Early Test of Biden Administration

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FELLOWS, Ca.— When the sun rose on the morning of Nov. 13, a procession of pumpjacks cast long shadows across golden hills. A lonely cow spent the night ten yards away but now stood backlit by the smog-filtered sun on the horizon. Exactly 11 months earlier, the Trump administration had gone ahead with plans to approve new oil drilling leases on public lands in California. The decision opened more than 1.5 million acres to drilling and ended an eight-year moratorium on federal land leasing in the state. The first seven parcels, 35 miles outside Bakersfield total 4,333.58 acres and are slated to go on sale Dec. 10. More than 90,000…

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