The slow-moving oil spill off the coast of Orange County, California, this week has reinvigorated federal and state lawmakers’ efforts to end offshore drilling.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced the West Coast Ocean Protection Act in the Senate earlier this year, which would permanently ban oil and gas drilling in federal waters off the coast of California, Oregon and Washington. Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman of California introduced the bill in the House.
“Californians have made it clear: We don’t want oil drilling off our coast,” Feinstein said in a statement on Monday. “It’s time to stop dangerous offshore drilling and invest in safer, cleaner, energy solutions.”
California Rep. Mike Levin, a Democrat, also authored legislation to ban new offshore drilling leases along the Southern California coast. Levin told CNN his bill is an effort to protect the cherished “marine life and billions of dollars in ocean based economic activity that are central to our quality of life but are threatened by offshore drilling.”
While Levin, Feinstein, and Huffman are pursuing negotiations at the federal level, state lawmakers in California are also looking to take action. In addition to calling on his federal counterparts to pass a bill at the federal level to end all offshore oil drilling that would include currently operational platforms, Democratic Ca