California’s governor Edmund G. Brown is calling for the president Obama to use his powers and permanently ban oil exploration offshore California.
The governor has asked the president to use the authority “under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently withdraw federal waters off the coast of California from new offshore oil and gas leasing and guarantee that future oil and gas drilling in these waters is prohibited.”
To remind, the outgoing U.S. president has already used his executive powers when he last week closed parts of the Bering Sea, off Alaska, for future oil exploration.
In a statement on Tuesday, governor Brown said: “Clearly, large new oil and gas reserves would be inconsistent with our overriding imperative to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and combat the devastating impacts of climate change.”
He added: “Now is the time to make permanent the protection of our ocean waters and beaches from new oil and gas drilling.”
Brown is advocating the development of renewable energy. He on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel to renew and expand a joint commitment to develop more renewable power, including offshore clean energy.
Under the agreement, California and the U.S. Department of the Interior will coordinate the environmental review of potential marine renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind and wave energy, continue to identify offshore areas for potential projects, and update permitting guidance for these projects.
In 2014 Brown teamed up with governors of Oregon and Washington opposing the inclusion of any new oil and gas leasing “off our shared coast” in the federal government’s 2017-2022 leasing program.
Presenting its final plan for 2017-2022 the Interior Department excluded the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
Interior department said Atlantic was off limits due to current market dynamics, strong local opposition and conflicts with competing commercial and military ocean uses, and the Pacific was not available for lease sales due to the”the long-standing position of the Pacific coast states in opposition to oil and gas development off their coasts.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff