Cantwell, Murray introduce permanent offshore drilling ban bill

Published on January 09, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA.) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the West Coast Ocean Protection Act last week, which would permanently ban offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf off of the West Coast of the United States.

The legislation, which was first introduced in 2010, would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and establish a permanent ban. The Interior Department’s five-year drilling plans prohibit drilling on the outer continental shelf through 2022, but no permanent has yet been put in place.

“Today, the West Coast supports thousands of jobs from fisheries, trade, tourism and recreation—which could all be devastated by an oil spill,” Cantwell, a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy
and Natural Resources, said. “We must permanently ban offshore drilling on the West Coast to protect our coastal communities, economies and ecosystems against the risk of an oil spill and we must make investments in clean energy alternatives to help meet America’s energy needs.”

The coastal economies of Washington, Oregon and California support about 650,000 jobs.

Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) joined Cantwell and Murray on the bill. Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) and 14 cosponsors introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.