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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | San Francisco | Environment & Forest Defense
San Francisco Passes Resolution Against Offshore Drilling, Fracking
Trump’s Proposal to Expand Offshore Leasing Meeting Resistance in California
SAN FRANCISCO— The San Francisco Board of Supervisors last night unanimously approved a resolution opposing new drilling off the California coast and fracking in existing offshore oil and gas wells. San Francisco is the latest of at least 16 California cities to formally oppose President Trump’s April 28 executive order urging federal agencies to expand offshore drilling.
The vote comes in the wake of the administration’s Jan. 4 release of a draft five-year plan that would open federal waters in the Pacific Ocean to new oil leasing for the first time in more than 30 years. That plan proposes new offshore drilling in almost all federal waters, including the currently protected Arctic and Atlantic oceans and eastern Gulf of Mexico.
The resolution was sponsored by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who also serves on the California Coastal Commission. It was supported by the Center for Biological Diversity, which has been organizing a series of California city resolutions opposing offshore drilling and fracking, starting with the Santa Barbara City Council’s vote on July 25.
“Californians must unite in opposition to Trump’s reckless assault on our coastal waters. San Francisco and other California cities play an important role in protecting the Pacific from oil industry pollution,” said Blake Kopcho, an organizer with the Center. “This is moment to pull together and reject the proposal to endanger wildlife and our communities with oil spills and toxic fracking chemicals.”
The San Francisco resolution calls for:
* A ban on dangerous fracking and well stimulation in federal and state waters off the California coast;
* No new federal oil and gas leases in the Pacific, Atlantic or Arctic oceans or the eastern Gulf of Mexico — areas currently protected from new leases.
Trump’s proposal would sell oil leases through California starting in 2020. There are already more than 30 offshore drilling platforms and hundreds of miles of underwater oil and gas pipelines off California’s coast. Operators want permits to frack offshore wells, using chemicals that are toxic to wildlife.
Separate lawsuits filed by the state of California and the Center challenging the federal government’s approval of offshore fracking are pending in federal district court. See more on the Center’s offshore drilling resolution campaign.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.