Governor of California calls on Obama to ban future oil and gas drilling

California Governor Jerry Brown in October 2010 - image courtesy of Wiki Commons and Amadcientist
California Governor Jerry Brown during his election campaign in 2010 - image courtesy of Wiki Commons and Amadcientist

California Governor Jerry Brown has asked President Obama to permanently ban new offshore oil and gas drilling in the state before he leaves office in January.

Governor Brown called on President Obama to use his authority to permanently prohibit new offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters off the coast of California.

President Barack Obama tours a field with farmer Joe Del Bosque, his wife Maria, and California Gov. Jerry Brown in Los Banos, Calif., Feb. 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama tours a field with farmer Joe Del Bosque, his wife Maria, and California Gov. Jerry Brown in Los Banos, Calif., Feb. 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In a letter sent to President Obama, Governor Brown called on the administration to use its authority under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently withdraw federal waters off the coast of California from new offshore oil and gas leasing and guarantee that future oil and gas drilling in these waters is prohibited.

Governor Brown conveyed in the letter that the protection of California’s ocean waters and beaches overrides the need for new oil and gas reserves.

“Clearly, large new oil and gas reserves would be inconsistent with our overriding imperative to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and combat the devastating impacts of climate change,” he wrote.

“Now is the time to make permanent the protection of our ocean waters and beaches from new oil and gas drilling.”

California Gov aims crosshair at acidification

Speaking at a recent meeting of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification in which he joined global leaders to launch, Governor Brown said his state was taking steps to prevent further coastal oil and gas drilling.

“Climate change degrades our oceans and coastline,” he said.

“Today, California is taking additional steps to reduce ocean acidity, boost renewable energy and prevent further coastal oil and gas drilling.”

In addition to calling on Obama for legislative action, Governor Brown also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to renew and expand a joint commitment to develop more renewable power including offshore clean energy.

Under the MOU agreement, California and the US Department of the Interior will coordinate the environmental review of potential marine renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind and wave energy, continue to identify offshore areas for potential projects and update permitting guidance for these projects.

In addition to signing the MOU, Governor Brown has joined a number of other US governors to launch the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification –  a new partnership of jurisdictions around the world committed to protecting coastal communities and economies from the threat of rising ocean acidity.