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SR-51 (2017-2018)

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Enrolled  July 20, 2017
Passed  IN  Senate  July 20, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  July 14, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Resolution No. 51


Introduced by Senators McGuire, Allen, Atkins, De León, Dodd, Glazer, Hertzberg, Jackson, Monning, Wieckowski, and Wiener

July 13, 2017


Relative to a New Five-year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program on the Outer Continental Shelf


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SR 51, McGuire.

WHEREAS, California’s iconic coastal and marine waters are one of our state’s most precious resources, and, as elected officials, it is our duty to ensure the long-term viability of California’s fish and wildlife resources, and thriving fishing, tourism, and recreation sectors; and
WHEREAS, Hundreds of millions of California residents and visitors enjoy the state’s ocean and coast for recreation, exploration, and relaxation; and tourism and recreation comprise the largest sector of the state’s $445 billion ocean economy; and
WHEREAS, There have been no new offshore oil and gas leases in California since the 1969 blowout of a well in federal waters; and
WHEREAS, Beginning in 1921, and many times since, the California Legislature has enacted laws that withdrew certain offshore areas from oil and gas leasing, and by 1989 the state’s offshore oil and gas leasing moratorium was in place; and
WHEREAS, In 1994, the California Legislature made findings in Assembly Bill 2444, Chapter 970 of the Statutes of 1994, that offshore oil and gas production in certain areas of state waters poses an unacceptably high risk of damage and disruption to the marine environment; and
WHEREAS, In the same bill, the Legislature created the California Coastal Sanctuary Act, which included all of the state’s unleased waters subject to tidal influence and prohibited new oil and gas leases in the sanctuary, unless the President of the United States has found a severe energy supply interruption and has ordered distribution of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Governor finds that the energy resources of the sanctuary will contribute significantly to alleviating that interruption, and the Legislature subsequently amends Chapter 970 of the Statutes of 1994 to allow that extraction; and
WHEREAS, Section 18 of the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. Sec. 1331 et seq.) requires the preparation of a nationwide offshore oil and gas leasing program that sets a five-year schedule of lease sales implemented by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management within the United States Department of the Interior; and
WHEREAS, Consistent with the principles of Section 18 and the resulting regionally tailored leasing strategy, the current exclusion of the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf from new oil and gas development is consistent with the longstanding interests of Pacific coast states, as framed in the 2006 West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health adopted by the Governors of California, Washington, and Oregon; and
WHEREAS, In November 2016, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released a final 2017–2022 leasing program that continues the moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the undeveloped areas of the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf; and
WHEREAS, Governor Brown, in December 2016, requested that then President Obama permanently withdraw California’s Outer Continental Shelf from new oil and gas leasing, and along with previous California Governors, has united with the Governors of Oregon and Washington in an effort to commit to developing robust renewable energy sources to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and help us reach our carbon emission goals; and
WHEREAS, The California Legislature has led the nation with its landmark climate change legislation, requiring ambitious greenhouse gas emission reductions of a 40-percent emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2030, and achieving a renewables portfolio standard of 50 percent by 2030; California must lead the nation in fostering the transition away from offshore fossil fuel production to protect both our climate and oceans from the damaging impacts of climate change, which will affect all life on earth for generations to come; and
WHEREAS, President Trump’s proposed five-year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program represents a renewed call for opening offshore areas for drilling and for lifting moratoriums on energy production in federal areas, that could lead to more oil spills, increased dependence on fossil fuel, and more damaging impact from climate change; and
WHEREAS, The California Legislature considers new oil and gas development offshore of the Pacific coast to be a threat to the nation’s economy and national security, and to the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals; and
WHEREAS, The California Senate has previously adopted Senate Resolutions 35 and 44 in 2017, which support the current federal prohibition on new oil or gas drilling in federal waters offshore California, oppose attempts to modify the prohibition, and defend the United States’ National Marine Sanctuaries; and
WHEREAS, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke took action on June 29, 2017, to open up a 45-day public comment period for a new five-year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program on the Pacific coast’s Outer Continental Shelf pursuant to President Donald J. Trump’s Executive order on American energy that was issued on April 28, 2017; and
WHEREAS, Despite the Trump administration’s assertion of support for the program from state and local governments, the States of Washington, Oregon, and California have been consistently united in their opposition to any new oil and gas activities off their coasts, which has resulted in the exclusion of the Pacific coast’s Outer Continental Shelf from any National Outer Continental Shelf Program since the 1989–1992 program; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, That the Senate strongly urges the President and the Congress of the United States to permanently safeguard and protect the Pacific coast’s Outer Continental Shelf from new oil and gas leasing, and declares the Senate’s unequivocal support for the current federal prohibition on new oil or gas drilling in federal waters offshore of the Pacific coast, its opposition to the proposed five-year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program on the Outer Continental Shelf or any attempts to modify that prohibition, and its determination to consider any appropriate actions to maintain the current prohibition; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to the National Program Manager of the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as the public comment of the Legislature in opposition to the proposed new five-year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program on the Outer Continental Shelf; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President and the Vice President of the United States, to the Governor of California, to the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate, to the Speaker and the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, to the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior, to the Director of the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and to each member of the California State Senate and Assembly.