In an effort to protect California’s coastline, Senator Janet Nguyen sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting that he exempt California from new offshore drilling leases in federal water. The letter was prompted by a January 4th announcement from the Trump administration regarding a proposed expansion of new offshore oil drilling leases which would include 47 auctions for drilling rights over the next few years. No new federal offshore drilling lease has been granted for the coast of California since 1984.
“Today I have called on President Trump to exclude California’s beautiful coastline from new drilling,” said Senator Nguyen. “A decision to expand this form of oil and gas cultivation off California’s coast could render significant harm to the world’s 6th largest economy, disrupt industry sectors and affect our environment.”
As part of her appeal for California to be exempt, Senator Nguyen cited the potential impact of new offshore drilling leases in federal water on industries like tourism, commercial fishing and maritime commerce, which currently contribute billions of dollars to the state’s economy and employ over 1 million residents. She also spoke of the potential effect to California’s coastal ecosystem and fauna.She further highlighted California’s contributions to the nation as an energy producer, emphasizing California’s standing as third ranking in production of petroleum and second in net electricity generation from all renewable energy sources combined.
“California’s coastline which defines the idea of California to so many people, and brings billions in revenue from tourism, commercial fishing and our ports, should not be subject to new offshore drilling in federal waters,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “The US Department of the Interior recently granted an exemption to the State of Florida under conditions that California far exceeds and should receive the same consideration.”
During her tenure in the State Senate, Senator Nguyen has consistently opposed lifting the federal moratorium on offshore drilling. Last year, she voted to support Senate Resolution 35 which memorialized the Senate’s support for the current federal prohibition on new oil or gas drilling in federal waters offshore California, opposed attempts to modify the prohibition, and considered any appropriate actions to maintain the prohibition. Senator Nguyen has also voted to support SB 588 to streamline the existing state rigs-to-reefs program that allows for the partial removal of oil and gas platforms in state or federal waters if the remaining portion is converted into an artificial reef.