NewsLocal News


Carbajal bill would ban future offshore oil and gas leasing

Posted at 12:34 PM, Jan 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-28 15:48:51-05

Rep. Salud Carbajal is reintroducing a bill that would permanently ban future offshore oil and gas leasing in areas of the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California.

The announcement from Carbajal’s office comes on the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. On Jan. 28, 1969, a blowout on a Union Oil Co. platform spilled millions of gallons of crude oil that killed thousands of birds and sea creatures along 30 miles of coastline.

The California Clean Coast Act of 2019 is part of a package of bills that aim to block offshore drilling in several coastal states.

“In California, our coastal communities, local economies, and fragile ocean ecosystems cannot afford another disastrous oil spill,” Carbajal said. “That is why it is critical that we pass legislation to protect our coastal environment from further oil drilling and preserve its beauty and vibrancy for future generations.”

The bill is being reintroduced as the Trump Administration prepares to release the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Proposed 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program).

The Draft Proposed Program (DPP), released in January 2018, would have made more than 98 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf available to consider for oil and gas leasing, including areas along the California coastline. The DPP is just the first in a series of three preliminary proposals by the Secretary of the Interior.

President Donald Trump issued two orders in 2017 directing the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to develop a new National OCS Program for 2019-2024. The President’s Executive Order 13795 states it is “the policy of the United States to encourage energy exploration and production, including on the Outer Continental Shelf, in order to maintain the Nation’s position as a global energy leader and foster energy security and resilience for the benefit of the American people, while ensuring that any such activity is safe and environmentally responsible.”