Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed two bills that would block new offshore oil drilling in California by barring the construction of pipelines, piers, wharves or other infrastructure necessary to transport the oil and gas from federal waters to state land.
This locks into law the vows of Brown and other state officials who declared earlier this year they would do whatever it takes to stop the Trump administration from opening California waters to drilling on an unprecedented scale.
“Today, California’s message to the Trump administration is simple: Not here, not now,” Brown said in a statement. “We will not let the federal government pillage public lands and destroy our treasured coast.”
Bills AB 1775 and SB 834 prohibit the State Lands Commission, which has jurisdiction over tidelands and waters extending roughly three miles offshore, from granting leases for new pipelines and infrastructure — the most economical way to transport oil and gas to land. . . .
Polls today show 69% of California residents oppose more drilling off their coast. Both the Republican and Democratic candidates vying to be the next governor have declared that the state's commitment to block new offshore drilling would not change under their leadership.
Oil and gas production from the state’s tidelands peaked in the 1960s and has been more or less declining ever since. The state has not issued a new offshore oil and gas lease since the devastating 1969 spill in Santa Barbara turned public sentiment against offshore drilling. In 1994, the state Legislature passed the California Coastal Sanctuary Act, which prohibits new leasing in state waters. . . .
The Santa Barbara blowout was responsible for a lot of boomers, myself included, developing an environmental consciousness for the first time: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/1969-oil-spill-near-santa-barbara-was-galvanizing-environmentalism-n361911
I was in grade school then, and schools all over the state collected kids' change to help clean up affected birds and mammals. If there's one thing that virtually all Californians get mad about, it's oil spills off our coasts.