Bill to End Offshore Drilling Passes Out of its First Committee
SACRAMENTO, CA — Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) announced today that Senate Bill (SB) 953 passed out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water. This bill would ban offshore drilling in state waters and cease oil production at the three remaining platforms operating off the coast of California by 2024. The legislation comes on the heels of last year’s oil spill, which leaked nearly 25,000 gallons of crude oil from a pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach. Clean-up efforts spanned from the City of Seal Beach to the Mexico Border, and accounted for the largest pipeline rupture in California waters since the 2015 spill at Refugio Beach in Santa Barbara.
“Thank you to my colleagues in the Senate Natural Resources Committee for passing SB 953 today,” Min released in a statement. “This legislation is a direct response to last year’s Orange County oil spill and creates an off-ramp to stop offshore oil production at the state’s three remaining oil platforms,” Min continued. “We cannot wait for the next offshore oil spill from one of these three platforms, which have aging infrastructure in place since the 1970s. I am hopeful that, through the passage of this bill, we can foster further discussions about how the State of California can mitigate the long-term risk of offshore oil spills. The next event will jeopardize not just our way of life, but our precious marine ecosystems and the $44 billion coastal economy that employs millions of California workers.”
“The only way to prevent more oil-related disasters like the one we experienced in October of 2021 is to transition off of fossil fuels as quickly as possible,” said Victoria Rome, NRDC’s (Natural Resources Defense Council) Director of California Government Affairs. “SB 953 allows for negotiations with the industry on how to voluntarily relinquish their state leases. If an agreement can’t be reached, the bill requires termination of those leases with fair compensation provided to the lease holders.”
SB 953 was approved in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and will be heard next in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Dave Min represents California State Senate District 37, which is located in Orange County and includes the communities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Foothill Ranch, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park.