West Coast governors ‘strongly oppose’ offshore oil lease sale
Governors of California, Oregon and Washington are against the offshore oil & gas lease sale proposed by the U.S. Department of Interior.
In a letter addressed to Sally Jewell, Secretary at U.S. Department of the Interior, Governor Edmund G. Brown of California, John A. Kitzhaber of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington said their respective states prefer clean energy and floating wind turbines, over a potentially devastating oil spill that could harm their coastal dependent economies.
Below is the letter in full:
“As Governors of California, Oregon, and Washington, we write to express our strong opposition to the inclusion of any new proposed oil and gas lease sale off our shared coast in the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Together, our three states represent the fifth largest economy in the world.
Our ocean dependent industries contribute billions of dollars annually to our region and sustain our coastal communities. Residents and visitors from around the world enjoy the recreation, scenic, and spiritual bounty of our spectacular shores. While new technology reduces the risk of a catastrophic event such as the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, a sizeable spill anywhere along our shared coast would have a devastating impact on our population, recreation, natural resources, and our ocean and coastal dependent economies. Of equal importance is the commitment of our three states, together with British Columbia, to a comprehensive and far-reaching strategy to combat climate change and promote a clean energy economy, the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy. The Plan aligns closely with the President’s own Climate Action Plan.
Our commitment to clean energy development in the marine environment is exemplified by the partnership to usher in the nation’s first floating wind project and wave energy test facility located off the coast of Oregon. Oil and gas leasing may be appropriate for regions where there is state support for such development and the impacts can be mitigated. However, along the West Coast, our states stand ready to work with the Obama Administration to help craft a comprehensive and science based national energy policy that aligns with the actions we are taking to invest in energy efficiency, alternative renewable energy sources, and pricing carbon. We must meet the environmental and economic imperative of climate change, and in so doing, seize the opportunity for our region and our nation to build a low-carbon economy that can be the envy of the world.”