Jackson's Bill to Halt Trump’s Offshore Drilling Expansion Advances

April 17, 2018

SACRAMENTO –Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (Santa Barbara)’s legislation to block the Trump Administration from expanding federal oil drilling off the California coast passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee last night on a 6 to 2 vote. Senate Bill 834 will ensure that pipelines and other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil development cannot be built in California waters, effectively halting such expanded drilling efforts.

Last January, the Trump Administration proposed a massive expansion in federal offshore oil drilling, including off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Senate Bill 834 will block the expansion in California waters 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.  The bill would also prohibit any lease renewal, extension or modification that would support the production, transportation or processing of new oil and gas.

“The Trump Administration’s reckless proposal to expand offshore drilling is a direct threat to California’s pristine beaches, marine life and coastal economy. Like most of the Trump Administration’s policies, this proposal is dangerous and destructive. SB 834 sends a strong message that California will not let the oil and gas industry undermine our environmental protections,” said Senator 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.

SB 834 is jointly authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). Assemblymember Al Muratushi (D-Torrance) has authored a similar measure, AB 1775, which passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 9th. AB 1775 is jointly authored by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara).

Senate Bill 834 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee in the coming weeks.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.