Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 17, 2017

Contact: Blake Kopcho, (805) 708-3435,               

Oakland City Council Passes Resolution Opposing Offshore Fracking, Drilling

Trump Order to Expand Offshore Leasing Meeting Resistance in California

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

“Offshore drilling threatens our state’s environment and economy. We must be smart and transition to clean power for our future rather than selling decades-long oil leases or polluting our waters with toxic fracking chemicals,” said Oakland City Council member Dan Kalb, who sponsored the resolution. “Coping with sea-level rise will be a challenge for Oakland and other East Bay cities. Trump’s 20th century drilling push would only make things worse.”

The vote follows President Trump’s April 28 executive order urging federal agencies to expand oil and gas leasing in federal waters. Trump’s order could expose the Pacific Ocean to new oil leasing for the first time in more than 30 years.

Today’s resolution was supported by the Center for Biological Diversity, which has organized a series of California resolutions opposing offshore drilling and fracking. Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Arcata, Goleta, Malibu, San Luis Obispo and Cayucos have passed resolutions opposing new offshore drilling, and several more communities are currently working on similar resolutions. Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties have also recently sent letters to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke opposing new oil and gas leasing in the Pacific.   

“Californians are uniting in opposition to Trump’s reckless designs on our coastline. Oakland today joined a long and growing list of cities calling for a clean energy future, not more dirty drilling and fracking,” said Blake Kopcho, an organizer at the Center. “Opening the Pacific to new offshore leasing will bring oil spills, toxic pollution and catastrophic changes to our climate.”

The Oakland resolution call for:

  • A ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling, fracking and other well stimulation in federal and state waters off the California coast;
  • A ban on new federal oil and gas leases in the Pacific Ocean;
  • A rapid phaseout of all offshore oil and gas extraction off California’s coast.

The last offshore lease in federal waters off California was in 1984, but Trump’s order seeks to renew the leasing program. There are more than 30 offshore drilling platforms and hundreds of miles of underwater oil and gas pipelines off California’s coast. Operators want permits to frack offshore wells, using chemicals that are toxic to wildlife.

Separate lawsuits filed by the state of California and the Center challenging the federal government’s approval of offshore fracking are pending in federal district court.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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