Legislature Seeks To Block Trump's Push For New Oil Drilling Off California Coast

Jan 5, 2018

Just hours after the Trump administration moved to open up the federal waters of the Pacific Ocean to oil drilling, California lawmakers sought to throw up a road block.

Identical new Senate and Assembly bills introduced Thursday would ban new pipelines and other infrastructure in California-controlled waters within three miles of the coast to support any new oil drilling beyond that area. A similar proposal stalled last year.

“It’s clearly expedited the process in terms of trying to move this forward and saying, this is no longer a hypothetical,“ Asm. Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) said of the Legislature's response to the Trump administration action Thursday. “What protections do we put in place to ensure the safety of our economy, of our coast, of our environment, of our fisheries and so many communities?”

Thursday's Interior Department proposal would allow six new lease sales in California: two each off the state’s northern, central and southern coasts.

“Responsibly developing our energy resources on the Outer Continental Shelf in a safe and well-regulated way is important to our economy and energy security, and it provides billions of dollars to fund the conservation of our coastlines, public lands and parks,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement Thursday.

“The important thing is we strike the right balance to protect our coasts and people while still powering America and achieving American Energy Dominance.“

Copyright 2018 Capital Public Radio