Bill that prohibits new leases for infrastructure on state lands to be used for oil and gas production passes Assembly Floor

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Bill meant to protect national monuments from further drilling by Trump Administration in California

Torrance, CA – Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance)’s Assembly Bill 342, which would prohibit any state agency, department, commission or local trustee, with leasing authority over public lands, from entering into any new lease authorizing the construction of oil and gas related infrastructure upon state lands to support oil and gas production on federal protected lands, passed the Assembly Floor. By prohibiting the infrastructure used for oil and gas production, the bill will help California safeguard federally protected land and national monuments within its borders.

The bill is meant to protect against the Trump Administration’s further opening of national monuments to oil and gas drilling, as was done in Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Just last month, the Trump administration announced its intent to move forward with plans to open one million acres of land in Central and Southern California to oil drilling, including areas near Bakersfield, Santa Barbara and possibly in Sierra Nevada.

“The Trump Administration is threatening to open hundreds of thousands of acres of federal protected lands to fracking and oil drilling. These federal lands include national monuments like wildflower-rich Carrizo Plain and the Giant Sequoia National Monument. We need to fight back to protect our beautiful land. Assembly Bill 342 will prohibit any state infrastructure leases that would support fracking and oil development on these federal lands,” said Assemblymember Muratsuchi.

While federal land use determinations are outside of state jurisdiction, California does have jurisdiction over the use of state lands, including leasing authority in those areas. If an oil or gas lease is authorized on federal land, production from that lease will likely require additional supporting infrastructure on state land in order to start and sustain production, as well as facilitate transport of the product.

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, the Assistant Majority Leader for Policy and Research, represents California’s 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson. Muratsuchi is the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and is a member of the Assembly Committees on Budget, Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy, and Veterans Affairs.

CONTACT: Kerry Jacob, Kerry.Jacob@asm.ca.gov, 310-806-0893