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Congressman Panetta Condemns the Trump Administration’s Plan to Expand Offshore Drilling

January 4, 2018
Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) today released the following statement opposing the Trump Administration’s proposal to open all federal U.S. waters, including 90 percent of the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), for potential oil and gas exploration and development.  The Draft Proposed Program (DPP) recommends oil drill lease opportunities in the Atlantic, Pacific, eastern Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic oceans, including two off of the central coast of California.

“The Trump Administration’s proposal to provide such unprecedented drilling lease opportunities for oil companies threatens our coastal, environmental, and national security.  As demonstrated by the lasting effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the potential for an environmental catastrophe from deep water oil drilling is real, and is therefore something that we on the central coast of California will continue to fight against.  Fortunately, we will not be alone in this effort as this proposal will face fierce bipartisan and bicoastal opposition.  Democrats and Republicans in Congress and many local elected officials, homeowners, and businesses on our nation’s coasts will oppose this attempt to allow this type of offshore oil drilling.  I adamantly oppose any type of drilling off the coast of California and will take any action necessary to prevent this possible exploration, as I continue to uphold our environmental values on the Central Coast.”

Starting on January 16, 2017, the Department of Interior will be hosting public meetings and collecting public comments for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.  Congressman Panetta is a cosponsor of the West Coast Ocean Protection Act of 2017, which would prohibit the exploration and drilling of oil and natural gas off the Pacific Coast, and of the California Clean Coast Act, to permanently ban future offshore oil and gas leasing in areas of the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California.

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