SACRAMENTO – In response to the Trump Administration’s announcement Jan. 4 to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) are reintroducing legislation to ensure that pipelines and other infrastructure cannot be built in California waters to support any new federal oil development.

In the Assembly, Muratsuchi will introduce Assembly Bill 1775, jointly authored by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), and in the Senate, Jackson will carry Senate Bill 834, which is jointly authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens).

The reintroduction of a bill that 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 would also prohibit any lease renewal, extension or modification that would support the production, transportation or processing of new oil and gas.

“We need to protect our beautiful coast of the South Bay and throughout California. 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,” said Muratsuchi.

“California’s economy thrives because of our environmental protections. 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Administration’s reckless decision to open these waters to further oil development represents a step backward into the outdated, dirty and destructive energy policies of the past. 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.

California has had a long-standing bipartisan commitment to protecting its coast from new offshore oil and gas drilling. 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 approximately $44.5 billion in GDP each year and employs almost half a million people in the state.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *