With news of another oil spill off Santa Barbara County’s coast, McGuire calls for an end to new leases for offshore oil drilling in California

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sacramento, CA – Yesterday’s oil spill in the once pristine waters off Santa Barbara County’s Refugio State Beach is a grim reminder of just how risky coastal oil development can be. 

Local environmental and state agencies along with emergency crews, have sprung into immediate action to limit the damage from an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil that spilled from a ruptured pipeline, draining crude oil for three hours and creating nine miles of toxic sheen in ocean waters.

Senator Mike McGuire is disturbed by the constant reminders of the dangers of coastal oil production. 

“Tuesday’s devastating oil spill is yet another example of the significant dangers related to coastal oil development,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “Our thoughts are with the residents of Santa Barbara and all of those who are working hard on the recovery efforts.”

For information on ways to help with the recovery efforts, log on to www.environmentaldefensecenter.org, or The Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) has also been activated and their website has wildlife response effort information at www.owcn.org

McGuire represents 40 percent of the California Coastline and he has been working with a broad coalition of state and local leaders, environmental organizations, fisheries experts, small business owners and coastal communities to protect California's pristine coast and our state’s $40 billion coastal economy.

SB 788 – The Coastal Protection Act – authored by Senator Mike McGuire and Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, will close the loophole in the Coastal Sanctuary Act that currently allows the State Lands Commission to grant new leases for offshore oil and gas development. New offshore oil leases are a real possibility in California and developers are already testing the political waters.

The oil slicks on the front page of this morning’s newspapers are reminiscent of the images from 1969, when for 11 days, more than 4 million gallons of crude oil blew into the ocean just off of Santa Barbara’s coast. Two hundred square miles of ocean and 35 miles of California coastline were oiled and thousands of animals were killed. 

Senate Bill 788 would forever ban any new oil drilling off of the California Coast - protecting our environment - and it would help California’s coastal economy thrive. Coastal communities contribute $40 billion annually to the state’s economy along with 500,000 jobs that working families depend on.

For more information or questions, please contact Kerrie Lindecker, Communications Coordinator, at 707-319-3654, or email her at kerrie.lindecker@sen.ca.gov.