Bill to stop Trump Administration from expanding offshore oil drilling passes Assembly Natural Resources Committee

Monday, April 9, 2018

Torrance, CA – Today, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance)’s Assembly Bill 1775 passed the Assembly Natural Resources committee on a vote of 7-3.  The bill, introduced in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of their intention to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters, will ensure that pipelines and other infrastructure cannot be built in California waters to support any new federal oil development.

“We need to protect our beautiful coast of the South Bay and throughout California. This bill would help protect the health of the residents who live and work near the coast as well as the marine environment.  It will also prevent any future oil spills,” said Assemblymember Muratsuchi.

“As successful business owners, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and other influential leaders, California Voices for Progress members know it is imperative to keep pace with a changing world. AB 1775, by Assemblymember Muratsuchi, does just that,” said Sandra Fluke, State & Western Region Director for Voices for Progress.  “Instead of reverting to the old days of reliance on dirty fossil fuels, this bill maintains our course toward a cleaner, greener California.”

The legislation will protect the California coast 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.  It would also prohibit any lease renewal, extension or modification that would support the production, transportation or processing of new oil and gas.

Senator Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) introduced a companion bill, Senate Bill 834, in the Senate.  It is a reintroduction of a bill that the Assemblymember co-authored with Senator Jackson last year that stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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.

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi 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.  He serves as Chairman of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace.  Muratsuchi 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.