Jan 10 2018
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called on all county boards of supervisors in California to pass a resolution opposing the Trump administration’s proposal to sell new leases for offshore oil drilling in federal waters along the coast of California.
The Trump administration proposed last week allowing offshore drilling in nearly all U.S. waters, including six new lease proposals for the California coastline.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced yesterday that Florida was being removed from consideration due to resistance from state officials, similar to California’s historic opposition to offshore drilling. California banned new offshore drilling leases in state waters in 1969 and there have been no new leases in federal waters since 1984.
“A resolution to disapprove of new offshore drilling leases will send a clear, united message to the Trump administration that Californians value the well-being of our coastal community environments and expect relentless protection,” Senator Feinstein wrote. “As Californians, we must stand together to ensure that our coast is not subject to new offshore oil and gas drilling projects.”
Full text of the letter follows:
January 9, 2018
Dear Board of Supervisors:
California knows all too well the environmental havoc created by offshore drilling. In 1969, we witnessed the devastation that Santa Barbara experienced when 3 million gallons of offshore crude oil spilled along one of the nation’s most beautiful and biodiverse coastlines, killing thousands of birds, fish and marine mammals. Just three years ago, offshore oil drilling plagued Santa Barbara again when a pipeline spilled more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Refugio State Beach, leaking into the Pacific Ocean’s ecosystem.
Our coastal communities once again face serious risk. Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to open nearly all federal coastal waters to new offshore oil and gas drilling, including the entire California coast. Our state waters have been off-limits to new oil drilling since 1969, and the last lease sale in federal waters offshore was in 1984. I ask you to join me in fighting this reckless and unnecessary plan every step of the way.
We must demonstrate uniform resolve to defend our coastline and protect the health of our communities and coastal economies. Therefore, I request your county Board of Supervisors pass a formal resolution opposing new offshore drilling development and object to any new oil and gas leases off the California coast. I am sending this same letter to your colleagues on each of California’s 58 County Boards of Supervisors.
A resolution to disapprove of new offshore drilling leases will send a clear, united message to the Trump administration that Californians value the well-being of our coastal community environments and expect relentless protection. As Californians, we must stand together to ensure that our coast is not subject to new offshore oil and gas drilling projects. I look forward to working with you to protect and preserve our beloved coastline. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (415) 393-0707.
United States Senator