Senator Dave Min Introduces Legislation to End Offshore Oil Drilling in California Waters
(SACRAMENTO, CA) — Today, Senator Dave Min announced the introduction of Senate Bill (SB) 559, which would end offshore oil drilling under existing leases in California state waters. While there has long been a moratorium on the issuance of new leases off the coast of California, oil production has continued for the past 40 years under existing leases which were first issued in the 1960s and 1970s. This legislation would aim to go further, and end offshore oil production under current leases, by requiring that the State Lands Commission negotiate in good faith with oil and gas producers to bring about shared agreements that would voluntarily relinquish all leases under state jurisdiction by December 31, 2025. If a relinquishment agreement is not made by this date, SB 559 would require the Commission to terminate these leases and cease production of oil at the state’s three remaining platforms that operate off the Coast of Orange County.
“After the 2021 oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach, I promised I would fight to end offshore drilling once and for all. Today, I am proud to say that I am continuing to try and keep that promise,” Min said. “Offshore drilling threatens our vibrant marine ecosystems and the nearly $2 trillion a year generated by our coastal economy. The meager benefits of offshore oil production do not justify the enormous risks they pose to our coastal communities. SB 559 offers a thoughtful, measured approach that will end offshore drilling in state waters once and for all.”
The 2021 oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach discharged at least 25,000 gallons of crude over a radius that stretched 750 miles south to the Mexican Border. According to the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), the total cost incurred by the State of California for cleanup is $2,813,205. In addition to response costs, OSPR has incurred $288,644 in ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration costs.
SB 559 will impact three offshore oil and gas platforms: Eva, Emmy, and Ester. Platforms Eva and Emmy are located in Huntington Beach, and Ester is off Seal Beach. These three platforms, which were constructed between 1963 and 1985, have lasted beyond their intended lifespan and pose a threat to our marine ecosystems, coastal communities, and the state’s $2 trillion coastal economy.
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