Reps. Levin, Peters Urge Congress To Say No Drilling Off California Coast
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Photo by Erik Anderson
California Reps. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, and Mike Levin, D-Dana Point, have co-sponsored legislation aimed at blocking a Trump administration plan to sell new offshore oil leases in U.S. coastal waters.
The measure, HR 1941 creates a permanent ban on offshore drilling around the country and it is getting a hearing in the House of Representatives.
“House leadership has announced we’re going to move forward with a vote on that new bill to protect our entire coast from drilling,” said Levin, the representative of the state’s 49th Congressional District. “And I’m hopeful we’re going to pass that bill when we get back to Washington. And then, like so many bills, I hope it's one that Mitch McConnell will actually allow to be heard and voted on in the Senate.”
Opponents say offshore oil drilling could endanger the region’s coastal economy.
San Diego’s ocean economy generates more than $8 billion in economic activity. That includes fishing, recreation, tourism and construction.
“Our beaches and our oceans in California are special places,” said Bob Keefe of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast. “They are part of the fabric of our lives here for many of us. What we also need to remember is our beaches, our oceans are the lifeblood of California’s economy.”
Tourism and recreation alone reportedly account for a $5.3 billion economic footprint on the region. That includes 96,000 jobs in San Diego County alone, according to figures released at the conference. That more than doubles the potential estimated $2 billion impact linked to offshore drilling.
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