End the Offshore Oil Drilling
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
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.