West Coast Lawmakers Seek Ban on Offshore Drilling
West Coast lawmakers are seeking a permanent ban on offshore drilling along the coast of Washington, Oregon, and California. Democrat-sponsored bills have been introduced into both the Senate and House of Representatives.
There have been no oil and gas lease sales off the West Coast since 1984. But, as the Trump administration prepares to take office, concerns are growing that could change.
“With a new administration signaling a dangerous willingness to put polluters in charge, it is more important than ever to ensure that Oregon’s coastline is protected,” said Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, a sponsor of the Senate bill along with fellow Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden. They cited a need to protect coastal economies, which they say are worth a combined USD 60 billion and 650,000 jobs between the three states.
Legislation to ban drilling off the West Coast was first introduced in 2010. A temporary ban on West Coast offshore drilling expires in 2022.