Home » New Bill Would Ban Offshore Drilling Along The West Coast

New Bill Would Ban Offshore Drilling Along The West Coast


California legislators introduced a new bill that would forever ban offshore drilling in West Coast waters.

Announced Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, introduced the West Coast Ocean Protection Act, which would prohibit any oil or gas exploration, development or production in federally owned parts of the outer Continental Shelf near California, Oregon and Washington.

If passed, the law would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a 1953 law that defines all submerged lands 3 nautical miles offshore to be under federal jurisdiction and therefore makes the U.S. responsible for both granting mineral extraction leases and setting regulations.

Feinstein said that in a time of a nationwide transition to cleaner energy, it is clear that offshore drilling and the danger it poses on the ocean is meant to stay in the past.


“The era of offshore oil and gas production in the Pacific is coming to a close,” said Feinstein.

California first began its efforts to ban offshore drilling in 1969, when an oil rig near Santa Barbara spilled 3 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean, killing thousands of marine animals and leaving beaches slick with oil. The spill prompted the state to prohibit new drilling projects in state waters, and further reinforced the ban with the 1994 California Coastal Sanctuary Act.

A recent Public Policy Institute of California poll determined that nearly 70 percent of Californians are opposed to offshore drilling. Huffman said science and public opinion are clear in their stance against the harm that offshore drilling brings to coastal communities, oceans and the planet.

“The world is transitioning to a green, clean energy future — and it is past time that we ban new offshore drilling and shift our investments to safe, renewable energy sources,” said Huffman. “Californians have experienced first-hand the environmental disasters caused by oil spills, and we are ready to put an end to that risk once and for all by permanently protecting our coasts.”


Huffman and Feinstein are backed by nearly 30 West Coast members of Congress, along with a slew of environmental conservation groups who say the waters support essential ecosystems and coastal economies.

“From soaring cliffs to sunny beaches, the Pacific coast is truly a national treasure. Sadly, this treasure has been threatened far too often, for far too long, with spills and pollution from offshore drilling,” said Kelsey Lamp of Environment America.

“We’re glad to see the West Coast Ocean Protection Act reintroduced. We need to make ocean drilling a thing of the past.”

Though no new offshore drilling projects have been permitted in federal waters on the Pacific Coast for almost four decades, Pacific Coast leaders and conservationists called for more protections after the former Trump administration proposed a five-year leasing plan that would allow for new drilling along the entire West Coast. The proposal was shot down by the courts, but it revealed how vulnerable the coast is until a permanent ban is set in place, said proponents of the bill.


Valerie Cleland, senior ocean advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a time where clean energy is deemed the future, “backward-looking” energy sources should no longer be permitted.

“The public has made it clear — communities oppose new offshore drilling and seismic blasting and don’t want to hand over our coastal waters to polluters,” Cleland said. “This bill would make significant strides in protecting the West Coast, coastal communities, and fragile ecosystems.”


To Do List January 26, 2023 - 10:37 AM - 10:37 AM

Another example of politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouth, here claiming coasts are a national treasure so we should leave them without industrial development even while in the next meeting they argue for offshore wind farms to completely screw up this national treasure as they call it. Instead of going to the beach, we can just visit the wind farm at Rio Vista for the same experience. There seems to also be a coordinated disinformation campaign to blame all the dead whales floating up on New Jersey shorelines on anything they can except offshore wind farms. The blunt force trauma observed must be from an increase in muggings and crime among the whales.

Danged ineffectual January 26, 2023 - 11:51 AM - 11:51 AM

How do you know you are not being influenced by a coordinated disinformation campaign from oil companies?

The 6 turbines in New Jersey have been operating for less then a year. The amount of whale deaths has not gone up significantly compared to before the 6 turbines were constructed. Are you that unaware of the reasons why whales wash up dead that you don’t know what to attribute them to? Wind turbines do but pounds of trash in a whale’s stomach, neither do muggings.

Also, the U.K. has found success with floating wind turbines and as of last year, most if not all US contract are looking into this technology.

You can find a better example of politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

Yoyohop January 26, 2023 - 3:06 PM - 3:06 PM

No competition from oil sets the stage for more expensive and likely government subsidized alternatives.

In an era of energy shortages we should be developing a diversified energy grid. Instead they are making our energy more susceptible to instabilities.

Amateur Teacher January 26, 2023 - 10:52 AM - 10:52 AM

Tell ya what. I’m down for it if they also ban the production of batteries and touch screens using lithium and cobalt. I’d prefer an overall ban on products made using slave and child labor. That’d get rid of the batteries and smartphones anyway. And whatever comes out of the Chinese concentration camp the US govt just waves a hand at.

Donothaveone January 26, 2023 - 12:14 PM - 12:14 PM

Batteries with no Cobalt hell that’s easy use LFP. They’ve been around a while and are in full production and are even available on Amazon. Or as I know Tesla’s starting to use them in some of their cars and I could be wrong about the Tesla thing.

Ricardoh January 26, 2023 - 11:00 AM - 11:00 AM

How did California gets so woke. At this point I hope you realize the environmentalists are not our friends. I just got my PG&E bill and it is exactly double what I paid them two years go. I have no trouble paying it but imagine some people are having a hard time with this man made inflation. All we need now is for that liar Schiff to become our senator if Feinstein retires or dies.

Captain Bebops January 26, 2023 - 11:54 AM - 11:54 AM

Wokism is a narrow view of the world. The “woke” are supposed to be informed and educated but only about a few areas that suit the corporate overloads’ agenda. They want to be “woke” because they think it is hip but to the actual educated and informed they are mere idiots.

Fed Up January 26, 2023 - 11:13 AM - 11:13 AM

Lets ban everything “bad” while we wre at it…

Woke because I’m not dumb January 26, 2023 - 3:05 PM - 3:05 PM

Yeah let’s bring back the lead in paint and gasoline and baby toys! Life was better when our rivers used to catch on fire!

The Fearless Spectator January 26, 2023 - 5:36 PM - 5:36 PM

Well said. California politicians are counting on you. Follow the money, err, I mean, the science. The scientific outcomes are of course manufactured by money which is masked as science.
They get paid, and you get taxed.
Ain’t life grand.

WC---Creeker January 26, 2023 - 11:14 AM - 11:14 AM

$7 a gallon gas coming, they write this legislation to feel they are saving the planet. Pat each other on the back then the rest of us suffer.

Chicken Little January 26, 2023 - 12:22 PM - 12:22 PM

“Feinstein said that in a time of a nationwide transition to cleaner energy, it is clear that offshore drilling and the danger it poses on the ocean is meant to stay in the past.”

Speaking of things (people) that are meant to stay in the past…

Woke lawmakers are going to “transition” us to “clean” energy, by pricing us out of any kind of energy they don’t like, whether we want it or not.

MikeT January 26, 2023 - 1:07 PM - 1:07 PM

These politicians like Feinstein and Huffman, don’t give a damn what this type of bill will do to the increase of gas prices, which leads to the increase of inflation. They have government issued cars, insurance, gas cards etc. They don’t pay for fuel, so they don’t care. I’m all for getting more green energy, but lets not destroy the oil and gas industry until we can go 100% green.

domo January 26, 2023 - 1:30 PM - 1:30 PM

…it’s all politiking for votes… they don’t care about the cost of gasoline or if we have to buy it from Venezuela now … are we still buying from Russia? not sure…. Saudi and the rest of OPEC has us by the …. well you know

Original G January 26, 2023 - 3:58 PM - 3:58 PM

Three ways CA gets crude to refine, oil wells, by ship and railroad tank cars.
Their are no pipelines bringing in crude oil only pipelines to export refined product.

Steven Helmantoler January 26, 2023 - 4:49 PM - 4:49 PM

So some clowns in Cali are gonna call National Energy policy?

Mad citizen January 27, 2023 - 1:20 AM - 1:20 AM

Out states politicians are a bunch of idiots. The impoverished communities are barely getting by with the high price of products due to inflation but they want to ban offshore drilling? How about we build up the infrastructure and secure sources of clean energy before we stop drilling and drive refineries out of the state!

The Fearless Spectator January 27, 2023 - 8:36 AM - 8:36 AM

Newsom isn’t just driving the O & G industry out of the state, he’s driving all industry out of the state.
Perhaps that’s his idea of equity, make other states more profitable by sending jobs and tax revenue out of California.
Gavin is not a friend of the people. He’s more like the deranged villain in a James Bond Movie, and we all know how that usually works out.

Angry American January 27, 2023 - 3:03 PM - 3:03 PM

I guess no more roads for their electric cars as they are made of asphalt. Oh yeah no more makeup and deodorant and plastic and “o my god” cell phones. stupid people.

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