End the Offshore Oil Drilling Loophole

The California Marine Sanctuary Act, which in 1994 codified a ban on new offshore oil drilling in California, contained a loophole that now threatens opening a portion of the Santa Barbara coast to drilling.

That loophole basically allows new oil drilling if the “State Lands Commission determines that oil and gas deposits contained in tidelands are being drained by means of wells upon adjacent federal lands and leasing of the tidelands for oil and gas production is in the best interest of the state.” The only place to which that loophole applies is an area off the Santa Barbara coast called Tranquillon Ridge, which the oil industry has hoped to drill for decades.

Now oil companies are planning to drill the area by using slant drilling from Vandenberg Air Force Base. That drilling will put an extraordinarily diverse part of the ocean near Santa Barbara at risk.

Senate Bill 1096, introduced by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, would remove the loophole from the law. By doing this, the bill would give the Tranquillon Ridge area the same protections from new oil drilling as other parts of the coast.

SB 1096 will come up for an assembly vote soon. Call your assembly member now and urge an “aye” vote on SB 1096.

Please enter your information to get the name and contact information of your assembly member.

ZIP Code:    

Here’s a sample script for your call about SB 1096. Be sure to leave a message on the answering machine if someone doesn’t answer the phone right away:

“Hello, my name is ________________, and I live in  ___(your town)__________. I am calling to ask the assembly member to vote “Aye” or “Yes” on SB 1096 by Senator Jackson. That bill would remove a loophole that would open the Santa Barbara coast up to new oil drilling.

“It is unwise to drill the Tranquillon Ridge area, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Again, I urge the assembly member to support SB 1096.

Thank you.”

One call right now will make a difference!