Senate takes historic action with passage of McGuire's coastal offshore oil drilling ban

SB 788 will protect California’s environment & $40 billion coastal economy by closing the offshore oil drilling loophole

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sacramento, CA – The Senate today approved North Coast Senator Mike McGuire’s legislation to forever protect California’s coast from new offshore oil development.

“California’s coast is truly a worldwide wonder. Its natural beauty attracts 150 million visitors annually from all across the planet. It is a core part of this great state’s identity and our coastal economy is a main driver of our statewide economic engine. In the wake of last month’s devastating oil spill, we cannot afford to wait any longer to permanently ban new oil drilling off our coast,” Senator Mike McGuire said.

Senate Bill 788 would forever ban any new oil drilling in state waters off of the California Coast, and would not only protect our environment, it would help California’s coastal economy thrive. Coastal communities contribute $40 billion annually to the state’s economy along with 500,000 jobs working families depend on.

SB 788 was jointly authored by Senator Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), who represents the area where the spill occurred.  “The Refugio Oil Spill has been a dramatic wake up call, reminding us just how destructive and dirty oil can be, “ said Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. “Tranquillon Ridge is one of the most important bio-regions on the planet. It is a place of extraordinary and wondrous diversity. If there’s ever a place and time where were should commit to no new offshore drilling, it should be here, in this extraordinary place known as Tranquillon Ridge, and it should be now, when the consequences of oil – oil-covered birds and an oil-drenched coastline – are so fresh in our minds.”

The bill was brought forward on the Senate floor as part of a historic package of legislative proposals that will strengthen California’s global leadership in tackling climate change. Comprised of 12 bills, the California Climate Leadership package includes new environmental and energy standards that will spur innovation and economic growth, and efforts to protect the state’s environment and make renewable energy and clean technology accessible to all Californians, while driving the goal of reducing our state’s petroleum use 50 percent by 2030.

More than 15,000 individuals have signed a petition endorsing SB 788, and the legislation is supported by a broad coalition of the state’s leading environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, Audubon of California, California League of Conservation Voters, the Center for Climate Protection, the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, as well as fisherman’s organizations, tribal groups, and clean water advocates.

The bill is co-authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, and Senators Mark Leno, Ben Allen, Loni Hancock, Bill Monning, Lois Wolk and Assemblymembers Bill Dodd, Marc Levine, Mark Stone, Jim Wood and Das Williams.

Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) represents 40 percent of California’s coastline from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border.