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Saturday, November 17 , 2018, 8:34 pm | Fog/Mist 58º


California Bill Would Stop New Federal Offshore Drilling

In response to the Trump Administration announcement to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) are reintroducing legislation to ensure pipelines and other infrastructure can't be built in California waters to support any new federal oil development.

In the Senate, Jackson will carry Senate Bill 834, also jointly authored by state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens).

Muratsuchi will carry an identical companion measure, Assembly Bill 1775, in the state Assembly, which will be jointly authored by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara).

The measure is the reintroduction of a bill Jackson authored last year that stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The legislation will protect the California coast by prohibiting the State Lands Commission from approving any new leases for pipelines, piers, wharves or other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil and gas development in the three-mile area off the coast that is controlled by the state.

It also would prohibit any lease renewal, extension or modification that would support the production, transportation or processing of new oil and gas, Jackson's office said.

“California’s economy thrives because of our environmental protections," Jackson said.

"The Trump Administration’s reckless decision to open these waters to further oil development represents a step backward into the outdated, dirty and destructive energy policies of the past," she said.

"It’s more important than ever that we send a strong statement that California will not be open for drilling along our coast, which could devastate our multi-trillion dollar coastal economy, our coastal waters and marine life,” said Jackson.
“We need to protect our beautiful coast of the South Bay and throughout California," Muratsuchi said.

"This bill would help protect the health of the residents who live and work near the coast as well as the marine environment. It will also prevent any future oil spills,” Muratsuchi said.

California has had a long-standing bipartisan commitment to protecting its coast from new offshore oil and gas drilling, Jackson's office said.

In 1994, the Legislature passed the California Coastal Sanctuary Act, which prohibited new oil and gas leases in the state’s coastal waters, with some exceptions.

California’s coastal economy produces some $44.5 billion in GDP each year and employs almost half a million people in the state.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

— Lisa Gardiner for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.


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