Industry News

Senators Want Permanent Ban on Pacific Coast Offshore Drilling

On 7 October, 2015, U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the West Coast Ocean Protection Act, legislation to permanently prohibit offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf of California, Oregon and Washington.

 

The legislation, first introduced in 2010, would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently protect the $44 billion coastal economies of the three states, which support nearly 650,000 jobs in California, Oregon and Washington. The 2010 version failed to clear Congress.

"We cannot afford to put California's coastal economy at risk by drilling offshore," Senator Boxer said. "More than half a million California jobs and more than $34 billion in annual economic activity depend on a pristine coastline, and we owe it to current and future generations to protect our coast from a disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill."

"We must protect our coastal communities, economies and ecosystems against the risk of an oil spill. In addition, the threat of seismic activity along the Cascadia Subduction Zone increases the probability of a catastrophic oil spill in the Pacific Northwest," Senator Cantwell, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said. "Millions of people rely on the outdoors for their livelihoods, so we must stop offshore drilling and preserve the pristine nature of our coastlines."

The West Coast Ocean Protection Act includes clear language stating that "the Secretary of the Interior shall not issue a lease for the exploration, development, or production of oil or natural gas in any area of the outer Continental Shelf off the coast of the State of California, Oregon or Washington."

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