EDC Response to Trump's California Oil Drilling Plans
By Kristen Hislop, Marine Conservation Program Director of the Environmental Defense Center
Today, the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) responded to a threat by the Trump administration to open the Santa Barbara Channel to new offshore oil and gas. While California is excluded from the current Five-Year Leasing Program created under the Obama administration, the Trump administration decided to consider additional areas in a new leasing program that would begin in 2019. This new program could include the Santa Barbara Channel and other areas along the west coast. No new lease sales have occurred in this region since 1984, and EDC will continue our commitment to prevent new leases in the future.
The Trump administration’s clear efforts to reduce environmental protection for our coasts and oceans will be challenged by EDC. For 40 years, EDC has worked in the public interest to protect the coastal and marine environment of the Santa Barbara Channel region. We will continue to fight to ensure protection of this ecologically sensitive area, which is home to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Park, as well as federal and state Marine Protected Areas. It is time to focus on cleaner and safer renewable energy sources, rather than fossil fuels. We have come too far to have our marine environment threatened by new offshore oil and gas developments intended to benefit few corporations rather than our communities that rely on it.”