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New bill blocks new federal offshore oil drilling along California Coast

California Governor Edmund “Jerry” Borwn Jr. signed new legislation Saturday that will block new federal offshore oil drilling along California’s coast. This bill is also in response to the Trump Administration’s plan to expand oil drilling on public lands in California.

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s (D-Santa Barbara) bill, SB 834, will make it harder for oil companies to want to drill off the California Coast.

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“By basically shutting the door on them, if you will, we will hopefully be able to keep our coastline pristine, protect against offshore drilling, and protect against more oil … we know if you don’t drill, you can’t spill.”

This bill comes a day after a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge found Plans All American guilty on nine counts for the 2015 Refugio Oil Spill.

“Today, California’s message to the Trump administration is simple: Not here, not now,” said Governor Brown. “We will not let the federal government pillage public lands and destroy our treasured coast.”

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SB 834 and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi’s (D-Torrance) bill, AB 1775, blocks the Trump Administration’s plan to expand offshore oil drilling by prohibiting new leases for new construction of oil and gas-related infrastructure, such as pipelines, within state waters if the federal government authorizes any new offshore oil leases.

The signing comes days before mayors, governors, and heads of industries will meet in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit.

“With the signing of AB 1775 and SB 834, California is fighting back against the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore oil drilling off California’s coast,” said Muratsuchi. “We are standing up to protect the South Bay in my district and our state’s entire coast from the threat of more offshore oil drilling and ugly oil rigs. I thank Governor Brown for leading the resistance and Senator Jackson for working with me to protect our state’s multibillion-dollar coastal economy and beautiful beaches and coastline.”

The Governor has submitted the state’s formal opposition to the Bureau of Land Management’s proposal to open new public land and mineral estates for oil and gas lease sales.

“It has been more than twenty years since the Bureau of Land Management last expanded the availability of federal public lands and mineral estates for oil and gas leases in the Central Valley and Central Coast of California. Since then, the world’s understanding of the threats of climate change has greatly advanced and, in many cases, these threats have become a reality,” said Governor Brown in his letter to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

The Governor also signed AB 2864 by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) which improves the assessment damage and restoration and mitigation measure after an oil spilling affecting coastal resources.

Click here to read SB 834.

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