Update: We Rose Up to Oppose Offshore Drilling!

On February 8 in Sacramento, hundreds of activists came to together to register their opposition to any new offshore oil drilling.
Earlier, Gavin Newsom, Chair of California’s powerful State Lands Commission, said in a press release, “I am resolved that not a single drop from Trump’s new oil plan ever makes landfall in California, where our leadership in reducing emissions and curbing pollution has enabled exceptional economic growth.”
State lawmakers including Ricardo Lara, Betty Yee, Richard Blum, Catherine Baker, and Ben Allen addressed the crowd to record their opposition.  The speakers were preceded by a welcome song and prayer from a Native American activist from the Sacramento area.
Click on the image to watch as State Controller Betty Yee asserts “The days of fossil fuels are ending!”
The crowd moved from the Capitol steps to the Galleria where the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was holding the only hearing in California on the proposed new ocean drilling leasing plan. As activists lined up in Cesar Chavez Plaza to attend the hearing, they listened to speakers from many environmental groups.  Activists reported that the “hearing” looked more like a trade fair. Public comments were not taken verbally; those who wished to comment were directed to nearby computer terminals to make their comments online.  Written comments can be submitted up until March 9.
Here are actions you can take that will make a difference:
  • Before March 9: Submit a written comment expressing your opposition to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) by using the Ignite Change comment tool. Center for Biological Diversity provides a sample letter you can easily edit and send.
  • Use this form to contact your state representatives and ask them to co-sponsor and work to pass SB 834, its companion bill AB 1775, and Assembly Joint Resolution 29(already passed) which intend to prohibit future oil and gas leases, and activities in coastal waters where California has jurisdiction that would facilitate transport of oil or gas from federal waters. Passage of these bills will mean that oil companies won’t be able to get their drilled oil to shore, so it won’t make sense for them to drill. The all-powerful oil lobby will be working hard to defeat these measures in Sacramento, so your representatives really need your support!
  • Call Senators Feinstein (202-224-3841 or 415-393-0707and  Harris (202-225-7163or 916-448-2787), let them know you are a constituent—and ask them to do everything in their power to stop offshore drilling.

Background: Offshore drilling is a nightmare for people and the planet. It poisons our oceans, smothers our beaches in oil, directly threatens animals and plants including endangered species, and threatens our booming coastal economy. And of course, it extends our dependence on the fossil fuels that drive climate change, accelerating sea level rise and wildfires. And, Trump recently announced his disastrous plan to turn over ALL of America’s oceans – including the Pacific – to oil companies so that they can expand offshore drilling. This would mean new drilling off the California coast for the first time in over thirty years. Even worse, at the same time that Trump is expanding ocean drilling, he has eliminated the offshore drilling safety regulations that Obama put in place after the catastrophic Deep Water Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. This virtually guarantees more horrific accidents.