Carbajal Introduces Bill to Halt Future Oil and Gas Drilling on California’s Central Coast

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SANTA BARBARA, February 21, 2020 | comments

Today, Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24) introduced the California’s Land Preservation and Protection Act to place a moratorium on fracking and new oil and gas drilling on federal lands on California’s central and southern coasts. This is direct pushback on the Trump administration’s decision allowing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to pursue oil and gas leasing on over 1.2 million acres of California land, including San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26) is an original co-sponsor of this bill.

“We cannot stand by as the Trump administration pollutes our environment and auctions off our public lands, health, safety and economy,” said Carbajal. “My bill will stop the Bureau of Land Management from proceeding with any oil and gas activities that are detrimental to our environment, it promotes comprehensive research and it enhances environmental justice in our communities. The health of our Central Coast public land is key to the health of our communities—we will not be exploited by this administration and special interests.”

“In Ventura County, we pride ourselves on being good stewards of the environment,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “The Bureau of Land Management has a responsibility to protect our public lands for future generations, but its recent actions to open up lands for drilling and fracking, including in Ventura County, are at odds with that mission. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the California’s Land Preservation and Protection Act because our public lands must be protected from the harmful impacts of drilling and fracking.”

California’s Land Preservation and Protection Act prohibits BLM from authorizing future oil and gas leasing until the department publishes a comprehensive environmental impact statement to assess potential effects on climate change, air quality, water, wildlife, emissions, impacted communities—including low-income and indigenous communities, and communities of color—and more. If the evaluation finds adverse impacts, BLM cannot move forward with new drilling and development.

On December 12, 2019, BLM announced the decision to allow for new oil and gas leasing in California. Shortly after, the Trump administration faced lawsuits from the state of California, Los Padres ForestWatch and Center for Biological Diversity.

Full bill text can be found here.

Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th congressional district, encompassing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and part of Ventura County. In Congress, Carbajal has been a longstanding environmental champion, passing three of his environmental bills through the House this term.

 
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