Oregon Governor passes bill SB 256 to ban offshore drilling in US

29 March 2019 (Last Updated March 29th, 2019 11:38)

Oregon governor Kate Brown has signed a bill banning offshore drilling into law during a federal push to open 90% of US waters, including the coasts of Oregon, Washington, and California to new oil and gas leasing.

Oregon Governor passes bill SB 256 to ban offshore drilling in US
The bill SB 256 prohibits activities that would support oil drilling in federal waters offshore Oregon. Credit: Erin.

Oregon governor Kate Brown has signed a bill banning offshore drilling into law during a federal push to open 90% of US waters, including the coasts of Oregon, Washington, and California to new oil and gas leasing.

Indefinitely extending Oregon’s moratorium on offshore oil drilling in state marine waters, the bipartisan bill SB 256 prohibits activities or new infrastructure that would support oil drilling in federal waters offshore Oregon. Set to come into force from 1 January 2020, the new law puts into action Brown’s Executive Order 18-28, which made it the official policy of Oregon to oppose offshore oil drilling.

The bill makes a moratorium on oil and gas leasing permanent in the state’s Territorial Sea that had been set to expire in 2020 and directs state agencies to not assist with potential drilling operations in federal waters offshore Oregon.

SB 256 also blocks the development of new piers and pipelines 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, wildlife, communities, and economy to the threat of devastation from an oil spill.”

Brown said: “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.”

State leaders, local municipalities, and businesses throughout the West Coast are taking action against Trump Administration’s proposal for potential new offshore drilling leases in federal waters. The measures are aimed at safeguarding their communities and coastal economies from the risks of offshore oil drilling.