California to deny pipeline permits for new crude discovered offshore

SACRAMENTO -- California plans to block the transport of petroleum from new offshore oil drilling rigs through its state, a move meant to hobble the Trump administration’s effort to expand drilling in U.S. federal waters.

"I am resolved that not a single drop from Trump's new oil plan ever makes landfall in California," Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, chair of the State Lands Commission and a Democratic candidate for governor, said in an emailed statement to the Reuters News Service.

Offshore drilling has been restricted in California since a 1969 oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has exempted Florida from the drilling plan to protect its tourism industry.

Neal Kirby, a spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said his members support the administration’s drilling plan. But, he said that if California bars oil from passing through pipelines, companies would be far less likely to seek new offshore leases there.