Author: Center for Biological Diversity
At least 65 California cities and counties have taken action opposing new fossil fuel leasing in the Pacific Ocean since President Trump proposed a massive expansion of drilling in federal waters last year. That ongoing campaign now represents communities with 21.3 million Californians—more than half the state’s population.
These actions, combined with recent public opinion polling showing that 69 percent of Californiansoppose new offshore drilling, come as the California Legislature considers Assembly Bill 1775 and Senate Bill 834, which would prohibit new infrastructure to serve expanded federal offshore oil leasing. Members of the Coalition to Protect the Pacific have supported a campaign, which will continue through the fall as the Trump administration works on the next draft of its offshore leasing plan.
“We need to protect our beautiful South Bay as well as the health of the residents who live and work near the coast and the marine environment. A.B. 1775 will do just that 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,” said Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), sponsor of A.B. 1775.
The movement to protect the Pacific gained momentum following the Jan. 4 release of the administration’s draft leasing plan, which proposes lease sales in almost all federal waters. That would include the first fossil fuel leases in the Pacific in more than 30 years. The California League of Cities has also officially endorsed the state’s efforts to protect its coast.
“California communities reject offshore drilling and are building a wall of opposition to Trump’s reckless agenda. It’s inspiring to watch community leaders rise up to protect the Pacific from dangerous drilling,” said Blake Kopcho, an organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We won’t let Trump and his corrupt cronies pollute our coastline with oil spills and toxic fracking chemicals.”
At least 54 cities or counties have passed resolutions opposing the offshore drilling expansion and 11 have sent formal letters of opposition, while another two community advisory bodies have also recommended against issuing new leases or fracking permits.
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