Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 19, 2019

Contacts:  Blake Kopcho, Center for Biological Diversity, (805) 708-3435, bkopcho@biologicaldiversity.org
Linda Krop, Environmental Defense Center, (805) 963-1622, lkrop@environmentaldefensecenter.org 
Tomás Morales Rebecchi, Food & Water Watch, (619) 252-6899, trebecchi@fwwatch.org

Oxnard City Council Passes Resolution Opposing Offshore Drilling, Fracking

Resistance to Trump Offshore Plan Grows as Public Awaits Decision on Pacific  

OXNARD, Calif.— The Oxnard City Council today approved a resolution opposing new fossil fuel drilling off the California coast and fracking in existing offshore oil and gas wells.

The vote makes Oxnard the 85th West Coast community to pass a resolution formally opposing President Trump’s proposal to drastically expand offshore oil drilling, including offering the first Pacific Ocean leases since 1984. The next draft of the administration’s 2019-2024 offshore leasing plan is expected at any time.  

“We have a chance to send the message that we want to protect our oceans and coastal communities. We’re asking the Trump administration to turn away from dirty industries that are hurting us all,” said Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez, who sponsored the resolution. “To protect the health of people and the planet, we need to move beyond the polluting industries of the past and embrace a clean energy future.”

Today’s resolution was supported by the Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Defense Center, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Food & Water Watch, and Citizens for Responsible Oil & Gas (CFROG). A complete list of West Coast cities and counties that have voted to oppose the offshore drilling expansion can be found at www.EndangeredOceans.org.  

“The last thing Californians want is more drilling and fracking off our coast. Oxnard and other West Coast cities are forming a wall of opposition to Trump’s reckless agenda,” said Blake Kopcho, an organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. “All our oceans need protection from dirty and dangerous drilling. Gulf, Arctic or Atlantic drilling also threatens California’s coast with sea-level rise and other climate change impacts.”

“We are pleased that the city of Oxnard is once again standing up to protect our coast and communities from the risks and dangers associated with fossil fuel development — from the Puente Power Plant to offshore oil drilling,” said Linda Krop, chief counsel at the Environmental Defense Center. “We know from the massive 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and the more recent 2015 Refugio oil spill that it as a question of when, not if, another oil spill will mar our beaches and shut down our coastal economy.”

“The City of Oxnard has joined a growing wave of 85 other communities opposed to any new offshore drilling and fracking,” said Tomas Morales Rebecchi, senior organizer with Food & Water Watch. “Local families are also fighting to stop hundreds of new onshore oil wells proposed within miles of town. Oxnard cannot continue to be a sacrifice zone for a dying fossil fuel industry.”

There are more than 30 offshore drilling platforms and islands and hundreds of miles of underwater oil and gas pipelines off California’s coast. Operators want permits to frack and acidize offshore wells, using chemicals toxic to wildlife. The proposed new leasing program would open up the entire California coast, including national marine sanctuaries and marine protected areas, to new offshore oil drilling

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

The Environmental Defense Center is a public interest law firm that protects and enhances the environment through education, advocacy, and legal action.

www.biologicaldiversity.org

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