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California Legislature

Offshore drilling crackdown stalls in California Legislature

(Chris Carlson / Associated Press) None
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

Legislation that would clamp down on offshore drilling along California's coast stalled on Friday.

The measure, SB 188, had been introduced by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) after President Trump announced in April that his administration would consider allowing more drilling.

“I’m really disappointed," Jackson said. "I’m not going to give up," adding that she may bring back her proposal next year. 

Trump's executive order sparked outrage in California, where no new leases have been issued for state waters since 1969 and none for federal waters since 1984.

Jackson's proposal would have prevented new oil infrastructure, such as pipelines or piers, on state land along the coast. Existing leases would not be renewed if it meant an increase in oil production. 

“This is important to protect our beautiful coast and fight back against President Trump,” said Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), who carried the legislation in the Assembly.

It faced a range of opposition before stalling in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday.

The oil industry said lawmakers shouldn't restrict decision-making by the State Lands Commission, which has already pledged to block new drilling infrastructure. Labor groups expressed concern it would affect jobs for their members.

Gov. Jerry Brown's Department of Finance also opposed the legislation, saying it could reduce state revenue and lead to more oil being transported by barges instead of pipelines. 

This post has been updated with a new comment from the measure's author and details on the State Lands Commission opposition to drilling.

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