Protecting California Coast From Oil Drilling

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker Calls On Trump Administration To Protect California Coast From Oil Drilling

On Friday January 12, Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) announced she will introduce a resolution urging the federal government not to expand oil drilling off the California coast. The resolution comes in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to allow new drilling leases off the U.S. coast. The resolution will highlight the environmental risks of expanded offshore drilling and the economic importance of the California coast and our tourism industry.

“Local voices matter,” said Baker. “Ours have spoken loud and clear on the subject of new offshore drilling for decades. California’s coastline is too important to our state’s environment, character, and economy. I’m encouraged that Florida got an exemption from this policy, and California should receive the same treatment.”

Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced a plan to open federal waters, including those off California, to new offshore oil drilling. Days later, Interior Secretary Zinke exempted Florida from the plan, citing local opposition and the importance of the state’s tourism industry.

Ocean-dependent tourism contributes more than $17 billion annually to the California’s economy and provides more than 350,000 jobs.

  • California coastal economy from those counties bordering the Pacific Ocean creates $662 billion in wages and $1.7 trillion in Gross Domestic Product.
  • Nearly 500,000 California jobs are dependent on ocean-related activities that together contribute to over $44 billion to the economy.
  • California’s coastal ecosystem is home to a diverse variety of marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, marine fishes, and invertebrates, including numerous threatened and endangered species.
  • California’s commercial and recreational fishing industry feeds people around the world, supports more than 120,000 jobs, and generates over $6 billion in annual economic activity.

California has not issued new drilling leases in state waters for 50 years, and has repeatedly urged the federal government to prohibit new offshore oil development. The California Coastal Sanctuary Act of 1994, which passed with bipartisan support, prohibits any new leases for the extraction of oil or gas in state waters.