Bill to stop Trump Administration from expanding offshore oil drilling passes Assembly Floor

Friday, June 1, 2018

Torrance, CA – Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance)’s Assembly Bill 1775, jointly authored by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), passed the Assembly Floor on a bipartisan vote of 45-24.  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 South Bay coast and as well as coasts throughout California. This bill will help protect the health of the residents who live and work near the coast as well as the marine environment,” said Assemblymember Muratsuchi.

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.

“The threat and reality of oil spills impact all communities. Our legislature joins this growing multitude of voices in taking legislative action against the shortsighted expansion of offshore oil drilling,” said Assemblymember Limon.

 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.

“The Trump Administration’s proposal to dramatically expand offshore oil drilling is dangerous, reckless, and a direct threat to our coastal communities. California must stand firm in our opposition to this expansion, which could devastate our marine ecology, public health, and coastal economy,” said Senator Jackson.

A recent Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) study found that an overwhelming 69% of Californians opposed additional offshore drilling.  Offshore oil drilling jeopardizes marine ecosystems, coastal economies based on fishing and tourism, and the health and safety of marine animals. Since 1986, the more than 600 oil and gas pipeline spills, explosions and other incidents that have occurred in California caused at least $769 million in damages, 200 injuries and close to 50 deaths.

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.