Reuters first reported Wednesday that California will block the transportation through its state of petroleum from new offshore oil rigs. This will be an obstacle for the Trump administrations plans to expand offshore drilling.
The plan is to deny any pipeline permits for transporting oil from new leases off the Pacific Coast is the most extreme step yet by any of the coastal states that are trying to halt the largest proposed expansion in the past decade of federal oil and gas leasing.
On Wednesday, California State Lands Commission and the California Coastal Commission sent letters to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management urging the agency to withdraw its plans to allow the ocean drilling, saying the proposal increases the threat of a oil spills that could devastate the state’s ocean and marine life.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, State Controller Betty Yee and state Department of Finance Director Michael Cohen who are lands commissioners said:
“Given how unpopular oil development in coastal waters is in California, it is certain that the state would not approve new pipelines or allow use of existing pipelines to transport oil from new leases onshore,”
Both of these commissions have full authority over the permitting process that companies’ need to extract and move oil and gas from coastal waters. California placed a moratorium on new oil and gas leases back in 1969, following the oil spill that devastated the Santa Barbara coast.
According to the Lands Commission, there are currently 23 offshore gas & oil facilities that are in federal waters.
California has asked for an exemption from the federal oil drilling plan. Trump has granted Florida an exemption, and critics say his decision to allow California drilling is punitive.
This story is developing
Featured photo via Wiki Commons