Congressman John Garamendi’s Statement on Trump Administration’s Plan to Open Coasts to Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City, CA), who served on the California State Lands Commission as Lieutenant Governor, announced his strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s plan to expand offshore oil and gas drilling to almost the entire outer continental shelf.

“When I was elected to Congress, the very first bill I introduced was legislation to ban oil and gas drilling off of the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf,” Garamendi said. “The Trump Administration’s plan to expand coastal drilling represents a threat to the health, safety, and environment of every coastal community in the United States. I could not be more strongly opposed, and I will fight this through every possible avenue I have.”

“As Deputy Secretary of the Interior in the Clinton Administration, I worked with Secretary Babbitt and President Clinton to severely limit offshore oil and gas exploration in the same areas that are now being opened by President Trump and Secretary Zinke. As Lieutenant Governor, I served as Chair of the State Lands Commission. During that time, I refused to permit any new oil drilling off the California Coast because of the risks of ecological and economic disaster. Since then, catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf Coast have made it clear that the risks are far too great. Coastal governors across the country, including Republicans, oppose this plan. President Trump and Secretary Zinke should listen to them, rather than doing the bidding of their oil industry donors.”

In January 2009, as Lieutenant Governor and Chair of the State Lands Commission, Garamendi was the deciding vote to block new oil drilling at the PXP platform off the Santa Barbara coast. Garamendi also led the fight to oppose an attempt in the legislature to circumvent the decision, putting an end to the effort to open what would have been the first new offshore oil drilling off the California coast in four decades.