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Consumer Watchdog wants offshore drilling in California to be stopped

Published 05 January 2018

Consumer Watchdog has appealed to California Governor Jerry Brown to immediately stop all offshore drilling in state waters in response to President Trump's decision to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic, including in federal waters off of California.

In 2016, Brown asked former President Barack Obama to permanently ban any new oil and gas leasing in federal waters off of California's coast to match California's long-standing ban on new drilling in state waters. Nonetheless, Brown's oil and gas regulators approved permits for 238 new offshore wells between 2012 and 2016 in existing leases within three nautical miles of shore.

 "It is time for Governor Brown to draw a bright green line between California and the Trump Administration by keeping oil in the ground, which is the only way to avoid the worst effects of global warming," consumer advocate Liza Tucker said today. "We urge the Governor to demonstrate his leadership by making his actions match his rhetoric on the need to stop burning fossil fuels to avoid an existential threat.

"Brown's record on oil drilling offshore and on shore is one of expansion. That is no longer acceptable. Brown should ban all drilling activity offshore, cut off any planned new oil and gas drilling on shore, and ban fracking outright."

Offshore oil production continues in existing state leases up to three nautical miles offshore in 1,366 active wells, according to Department of Conservation data provided last year. New drilling permits were issued for 238 wells since 2012, up 17 percent, for existing leases in waters off of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, according to analysis by the nonprofit FracTracker Alliance. Roughly 171 of them were active as of a year ago.

Onshore, the number of active oil and gas wells has jumped 23 percent from 53,825 in 2009, the year before Brown was elected Governor, to 66,516 onshore wells at the end of 2016, according to Department of Conservation data. On Brown's watch, the number of wells drilled and completed in 2014 jumped by 67 percent over 2011 to 6,896 from 4,636, according to the Department of Conservation.



Source: Company Press Release