SACRAMENTO February 8, 2018 – California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird submitted formal comments today on a federal proposal to renew offshore oil and gas development along the West Coast and issued the following statement:

“It’s no surprise that many Californians are alarmed by a recent U.S. Department of Interior proposal to open our coastal waters to oil and gas exploration and production. Californians care deeply about our 1,100-mile coastline and public beaches, which draw millions of visitors a year. Public opposition to offshore drilling has steadily increased in California, and a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California in July showed it is at an all-time high.

“There is a reason no new offshore oil and gas leases have been allowed in California since the 1969 spill off the coast of Santa Barbara. Californians saw that devastation and acted locally to ensure the public would have a voice in local zoning for future onshore facilities related to offshore drilling.

“To meet our long-term energy needs, Californians have chosen clean, renewable energy and low carbon transportation fuels and technologies. We urge the Interior Department to withdraw our state from further consideration for renewed offshore oil and gas development.”

Laird’s formal comments submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on behalf of the Ocean Protection Council are available here. A resolution in opposition to the proposal by the Ocean Protection Council is available here.

An op-ed on the topic by Secretary Laird published by The Sacramento Bee is available here.