California Governor Calls for Permanent Ban on Offshore Drilling Off State

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California Governor Jerry Brown is calling on President Barack Obama to use his authority to permanently ban new offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters off the coast of California.

The call comes along with other actions Governor Brown outlined Wednesday to combat climate change and help protect the ocean off the Golden State.

The Governor has also signed an agreement with the U.S. Interior to help expand offshore renewable energy development, as well as joined global leaders to launch the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification.

Offshore Drilling

In a letter sent Wednesday to President Obama, Governor Brown called on the administration to use its authority under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently withdraw federal waters off the coast of California from new offshore oil and gas leasing and guarantee that future oil and gas drilling in these waters is prohibited.

“Clearly, large new oil and gas reserves would be inconsistent with our overriding imperative to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and combat the devastating impacts of climate change,” Governor Brown wrote. “Now is the time to make permanent the protection of our ocean waters and beaches from new oil and gas drilling.”

Offshore Wind and Tidal Energy

Governor Brown has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today to renew and expand a joint commitment to develop more renewable power, including offshore clean energy. Under the agreement, California and the U.S. Department of the Interior will coordinate the environmental review of potential marine renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind and wave energy, continue to identify offshore areas for potential projects, and update permitting guidance for these projects.

Ocean Acidification Partnership

Additionally, Governor Brown joined Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Chile in the United States Patricio Utreras, and Consul General of France in San Francisco Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, to launch a new partnership of jurisdictions around the world committed to protecting coastal communities and economies from the threat of rising ocean acidity. The partnership called the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification.

California is combatting ocean acidification through a number of landmark policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases. Today’s announcement builds on the ongoing work of the California Ocean Protection Council, which has also joined with other states to help address ocean acidification. Earlier this year, Governor Brown signed legislation to support this work and develop projects, in coordination with other states, that reduce carbon dioxide levels through marine habitat conservation and restoration.

With these and other other actions, Governor Brown says California is playing a world-leading role in setting aggressive climate goals, broadening collaboration among subnational leaders and taking action to reduce climate pollutants.