Sponsored by Senator Roblan, Representative Brock Smith and Representative Gomberg, the bill also blocks the development of new piers, pipelines and other infrastructure in state waters required to support oil, gas and sulphur drilling further offshore.
The federal government’s proposal to open most American waters to offshore drilling would have opened our shores, our wildlife, our communities, and our economy to the threat of devastation from an oil spill. It was a move that undermined decades of bipartisan coastal protection and turned its back on our commitment to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. This legislation is the product of Oregonian voices speaking loudly for Oregonian values and taking a leadership role in preventing the erosion of core laws that protect our environment,
...said Governor Brown.
This legislation was a response to a federal proposal released last January to open 90% of US waters—including the coasts of Oregon, Washington, and California—to new oil and gas leasing.
Oregonians submitted more than 30,000 comments on the federal plan, and several communities have passed resolutions opposing it. There has also been a strong response from the business community, with more than 2,400 companies coming together to form the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast.
According to the National Ocean Economics Program, Oregon’s ocean economy is worth $2.5 billion annually, and supports 33,000 jobs. More than 25,000 of those jobs are in tourism, recreation and fishing, the sectors that stand to lose the most from an oil spill.
Oregon is one of several states that has taken action to protect its coastal economy from the threat of oil drilling. California passed similar legislation last year, and Washington is currently working on oil spill prevention legislation. Several Atlantic states and Hawai’i are also working on drilling bans.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is expected to release its revised federal drilling proposal this month.