Carbajal, Central Coast Colleagues Introduce California Land Protection Act

Halts new oil and gas drilling, fracking on Central Coast without comprehensive environmental review

Santa Barbara, CA – Today, Rep. Salud Carbajal introduced the California Land Protection Act. The legislation would block new fracking or oil and gas drilling on federal lands on California’s central and southern coasts. The bill is a direct response to the Trump administration’s move last year to allow 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. Central Coast lawmakers Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) are original co-sponsors of the bill.

“The Central Coast boasts some of the most beautiful natural treasures in the country and pursuing fracking or oil and gas leasing on public land will only hurt our environment, public health, and recreation economy,” said Congressman Salud Carbajal. “Our public land is not for sale. I’m proud to partner with my Central Coast colleagues to prevent the Bureau of Land Management from exploiting the environment to line the pockets of the oil industry.”

“Good environmental stewardship is a core tenet of who we are as Ventura County residents,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “We have a responsibility to protect our lands for future generations and to prevent the exploitation and degradation of our natural resources. I am proud to coauthor the California Land Protection Act, which will protect federal lands within Ventura County from the harmful consequences of drilling and fracking.”

"As a federal legislator, I strive to make decisions based on evidence and I expect federal agencies to do the same. Until the BLM completes a detailed analysis of the harmful impacts new oil and gas drilling will have on our pristine environment, the agency should not be able to proceed," said Congressman Jimmy Panetta.  "I look forward to working with the Biden Administration to reverse the previous administration’s threats to not just the environment, but also the economy and our way of life on the Central Coast.”

The California Land 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 the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Biden-Harris administration has already made clear its commitment to reversing dangerous Trump administration policies that have threatened our nation’s public lands. Congressman Carbajal and his California colleagues look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration to preserve our precious public lands.

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.


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