Despite President Trump's plan to bring jobs back to the fossil fuels industry (and his best attempts to gloss over the industry's impacts) — oil and gas are not getting any easier to sell to the public.
From issuing permits to drill pristine Arctic reserves to greenlighting offshore drilling across 90 percent of the U.S. coasts, Trump has been aiming to make a business case for fossil fuels. Ultimately, he's been met with resistance every step of the way.
The latest comes from California, a state that has long opposed Trump's coal-friendly stance. Not mincing words, the California State Land Commission issued a letter voicing its intention to make the life of any potential oil investors a living nightmare. The letter states that approving lease sales in the area "creates the potential for catastrophic peril" for the local marine environment, economy and natural resources. It also notes that offshore drilling means more refineries being built onshore, which heightens the risk of air pollution and creates an increased burden on the state's poorest communities.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom who is currently leading the governor's race and is the commission's chair, said:
"President Trump's offshore oil drilling plan is a step backward in time, toward an energy
policy that blindly handcuffs the nation to an unsustainable future, [...] I am resolved that not a single drop from Trump's new oil plan ever makes landfall in California, where our leadership in reducing emissions and curbing pollution has enabled exceptional economic growth.
If Newsom were to become the governor this year, his environmental agenda would have a prominent influence on the state's policies for years to come. Additionally, the political opposition, along with geological challenges posed by offshore drilling and oil price volatility, would be an important red flag that could spook potential new investors.