Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 5, 2018

Contact: Miyoko Sakashita, (510) 845-6703,

Californians Rally Against Trump's Plan for Offshore Oil Drilling in Pacific, Arctic

Thousands Attend Protests Around State, Building Momentum for Feb. 8 Federal Hearing in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Hundreds of Californians will rally against President Trump’s offshore oil leasing plan on Thursday, Feb. 8 in Sacramento and march to the plan’s only formal hearing in California. Ahead of Thursday’s hearing, thousands of Californians rallied in seven cities over the weekend to oppose Trump’s proposal to open up the Pacific and other U.S. oceans to offshore drilling for the first time in more than 30 years.

Rallies were held Feb. 3 in San Diego, Laguna Beach, Santa Monica, Brea, Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Cruz after the federal government ignored requests by California’s congressional delegation and state leaders to hold additional hearings closer to coastal communities threatened by offshore drilling. Images and video from those rallies are available for media use at

The Trump administration’s draft 2019-2024 offshore leasing plan, released Jan. 4, would allow drilling in federal waters in all U.S. oceans, despite opposition from the governors of almost every coastal state. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding one hearing in each of the 22 affected states. The Feb. 8 hearing in Sacramento will be preceded by a large rally on the North Steps of the Capitol starting at 1:30 p.m.

“Californians fiercely oppose this reckless assault on our oceans and coastal communities. We’re coming to Sacramento to reject a plan that will cause oil spills and climate chaos,” said Miyoko Sakashita, ocean program director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Our beautiful beaches and imperiled marine wildlife face grave threats from offshore oil development, whether wells are drilled in the Pacific or the Arctic.”  

What: Californians Against Offshore Drilling rally and press conference followed by march to BOEM hearing

When: Feb. 8. Rally begins at 1:30 p.m. followed by march at 2:30 p.m. to hearing scheduled from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Where: Rally on North Steps of State Capitol (1100 L Street Sacramento); Hearing in Tsakopoulos Library Galleria (828 I Street)

Who: Speakers at the rally will include Controller Betty Yee, California Sens. Hannah-Beth Jackson and Ricardo Lara, Assemblymembers Monique Limon and Al Muratsuchi and representatives of the Center for Biological Diversity, Sacred Places Institute, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California, Defenders of Wildlife, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation and other partnering organizations.

Trump’s offshore-drilling proposal would open currently protected parts of the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans and the Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling and oil spills. An analysis of the draft plan by the Center for Biological Diversity found that consuming the recoverable oil and gas in the planning areas would release almost 50 billion tons of carbon dioxide pollution into the atmosphere and oceans, worsening climate change.

The Center also calculated that the plan could lead to 5,571 oil spills that would dump 34.4 million gallons of oil into oceans and onto beaches — about 10 times the spills expected under the offshore leasing plan approved by the Obama administration, which Trump is trying to replace. More than 650 spills totaling more than 4 million gallons would be expected along the West Coast under the plan.

San Francisco, Los Angeles and at least 25 other California communities have passed resolutions opposing new offshore drilling in the Pacific. For more information on the California campaign against offshore drilling, visit

"Californians are going to beat Trump and his big oil friends and protect our oceans,” Sakashita said. “And then we’re going to beat big oil onshore, too. It’s time for our state to fight back against dangerous drilling off our coast and on land near people’s homes."

Offshore drilling map

Offshore drilling plan map by Kara Clauser, Center for Biological Diversity. Rally images and video are available for media use.

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.

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