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West Coast Push Gets Under Way for Permanent Ban on Offshore Drilling

December 13, 2016

California Gov. Jerry Brown wants President Barack Obama to permanently ban new offshore oil and gas drilling in his state.  Brown says in a letter sent Tuesday to the president that allowing new drilling would be inconsistent with goals of reducing reliance on fossil fuels and combating climate change.  

At an even launching the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, a new organization to protect oceans, Brown said he plans to ask Oregon and Washington to help him convince the current Administration to act.  

There haven’t been any off-shore oil and gas lease sales off the coast of Washington, Oregon and California since 1984. 

But with a new Trump Administration preparing to take office, there’s concern that could change. Brown says he doesn't know if President-elect Donald Trump would have authority to overturn a permanent ban.  

Neither Washington Gov. Jay Inslee nor Oregon Gov. Kate Brown say they have received communication from California about the push for a permanent ban.  

A oil worker sits during a ferry ride away from Freeman Island, one of the four artificial THUMS islands in San Pedro Bay off the coast of Long Beach used for oil drilling, Oct. 3, 2013 in Long Beech, Calif. Chris Carlson/AP

Inslee’s office says the governor supports the idea of the president issuing a moratorium on drilling off the Pacific Coast.   

Gov. Kate Brown’s office declined to comment on whether she would support the California governor’s efforts.   

A temporary West Coast ban on offshore drilling expires in 2022.  

Oregon hasn’t seen a permit for oil and gas drilling in state waters since the mid-1960s.   

Oregon and Washington have also joined the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification.


Mussel Rock is best known for being the closest point to the epicenter of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and where the San Andreas Fault enters the San Francisco Peninsula. The USGS recorded a 6.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Northern California Thursday morning.