California governor signs bills to block Trump administration’s drilling expansion
Los Angeles, Sep. 9 (IANS): Governor of US state of California, Jerry Brown has signed bills to block the Trump administration from expanding offshore oil drilling along the western US state’s coast.
According to a statement from office of the governor on Saturday, Brown also announced the state’s opposition to the federal government’s plan to expand oil drilling on public lands in California, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Today, California’s message to the Trump administration is simple: Not here, not now,” said Governor Brown in the statement, adding that California will not let the federal government pillage public lands and destroy California’s treasured coast.
This action comes days before grassroots activists, mayors, governors, heads of industry and international leaders convene in San Francisco for the express purpose of mobilizing climate action at the Global Climate Action Summit.
Bills signed by Brown block Donald 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 bills also require new public notices and processes for lease renewals, extension amendments or modifications to authorize new construction of oil and gas-related infrastructure associated with new federal leases. There has been no federal expansion of oil and gas drilling along California’s coastline for more than 30 years.
President Donald Trump’s move for the largest expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling in US continental waters in decades is met with resistance by coastal states officials.
The 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Draft Proposed Plan, unveiled by US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, is scheduled to lease sales along the country’s coast, and will vastly expand offshore oil drilling from coast to coast.
California has been taking a tough stand to protect its coast from the offshore oil and gas development since 1994 when the state legislature passed the California Coastal Sanctuary Act. It prohibits the state from entering into any new leases within state tidelands.
In 2017, the California Senate passed a resolution opposing new oil or gas drilling in federal waters located offshore California. Earlier this year, Brown joined Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee to condemn the Trump administration’s proposal to expand oil and gas offshore drilling.