Carbajal Reintroduces California Clean Coast Act

Bans Future Oil Drilling Off California’s Coastline

Santa Barbara, CA – This week, Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-CA) formally reintroduced HR 455, the California Clean Coast Act. The California Clean Coast Act was the first bill Congressman Carbajal introduced as a Member of Congress, demonstrating his longstanding commitment to protecting California’s coast from offshore drilling and the devastating impact of oil spills.

Yesterday, President Biden signed executive orders to temporarily halt oil and gas drilling on federal public lands and offshore waters and identify steps to double renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030. The California Clean Coast Act goes further, permanently banning future offshore oil and gas leasing in areas of the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California. The bill’s reintroduction coincides with the 52nd anniversary of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, in which 100,000 barrels of crude oil were spilled into the waters off of California's Central Coast.

“The Central Coast has witnessed the devastation of oil spills first-hand, including the toll they take on our coastal communities, local economies, and fragile ocean ecosystems. 52 years and several oil spills later, we must pass this bill and permanently end new oil and gas development off our shore,” said Rep. Carbajal. “It’s time we relied less on fossil fuels and more on renewable energies, like offshore wind, which will create energy and good-paying jobs without damaging our environment or our planet.”

Representatives from the Sierra Club, Get Oil Out!, Environmental Defense Center, Oceana, and the owner of Santa Barbara Adventures joined Congressman Carbajal in voicing their support for the legislation:

"The west coast is united in opposition to offshore oil drilling where even small spills can have devastating economic and ecological impacts,” said Katie Davis, Chair of Santa Barbara Sierra Club. “Thank you to Congressman Salud Carbajal for re-introducing the California Clean Coast Act and affirming our collective resolution to protect our Pacific Ocean."

"Unsustainable petroleum and fossil fuel development continue to threaten California's coastal environment with spills and disasters every day,” said Michael Lyons, President, Get Oil Out!. It is with this hope of avoiding imminent oil spill disasters and environmental catastrophes that GOO! strongly supports the Clean Coast Act."

“The California Clean Coast Act is necessary to protect our coast from the threats of offshore oil drilling,” said Linda Krop, Chief Counsel of the Environmental Defense Center, which was founded in the aftermath of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill.  “From the 1969 blowout at Platform A, to the 2015 pipeline spill along the Gaviota Coast, the Central Coast has suffered the devastating effects of offshore oil development on our communities and those who live, recreate, and work here. We know that when it comes to offshore oil drilling, it is not a question of if – but when – another spill will devastate our beaches and ocean waters. The California Clean Coast Act will preserve our precious coast from the threats of future oil spills and climate change.”

“When they drill they spill and coastal communities deserve a healthy ocean and oil-free beaches. We applaud Congressman Carbajal for reintroducing the California Clean Coast Act, which would permanently protect the state’s coast from dirty and dangerous drilling. More drilling means more climate pollution which we cannot afford. Permanently ending new offshore drilling can help address the climate crisis and safeguard our coastal economy,” said Oceana Campaign Director Diane Hoskins.

“The Channel Islands and our cherished California coastline are our office, our classroom, our playground, and our sanctuary. Fragile marine ecosystems rely on our coastlines as their habitat and for survival. We are their voice,” said Michael Cohen, Owner of Santa Barbara Adventure Company. “We need to continue to protect our coastlines, to ensure coastal outdoor recreation opportunities for generations to come, as well as protect small businesses and the tourism industry alike through the preservation of a pristine coastal environment.”

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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