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Capps Speaks Out Against Drilling Expansion Off California Coast

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Wednesday spoke out against the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act (House Resolution 2231), which will be considered on the House floor later this week.

The bill dramatically expands offshore drilling nationwide, and mandates immediate oil and gas lease sales off the coasts of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Capps spoke on the House floor Wednesday in opposition to the bill, and sent a letter to the Natural Resources Committee earlier this month opposing the legislation. Similar legislation has been considered on the House floor every year since 2011, but has never advanced in the Senate.

“The so-called Offshore Energy and Jobs Act is nothing more than another old idea that will not become law,” Capps said. “We’ve voted on a form of this legislation in each of the last three years, but it has gone absolutely nowhere every time. Instead of working on new, more sustainable energy ideas, the Majority is yet again wasting time on another misguided, destructive and unnecessary offshore drilling bill. I’m also particularly dismayed that the bill explicitly targets the Central Coast for expanded drilling, despite the fact that local residents have repeatedly made it clear that they don’t want it.”

Capps, a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, will offer an amendment to strike the section of the legislation which mandates the new drilling off the Central Coast. She also proposed an amendment to prohibit new leases on any federal lands adjacent to a coastal state which has a moratorium on offshore oil, gas and mining activities. The Majority did not allow this amendment to be considered on the House floor.

Earlier this week, Capps also reintroduced the California Ocean and Coastal Protection Act (H.R. 2486), which would permanently ban new exploration and drilling for oil and gas off California’s coast.

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.


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