Today Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 256 (SB 256), which indefinitely extends Oregon’s moratorium on offshore oil drilling in state marine waters (0 to 3 miles from shore) and prohibits activities or new infrastructure that would support oil drilling in federal waters offshore Oregon (3 to 200 miles from shore).
Introduced by lead authors Representatives David Gomberg (D-Central Coast) and David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford), and Senator Arnie Roblan (D- Coos Bay), the bi-partisan legislation was widely supported in the House and Senate.
“Today’s action helps ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the incredible ocean wildlife, spectacular beaches and vibrant fisheries that are treasured by Oregonians,” said Ben Enticknap, Pacific Campaign Manager & Senior Scientist with Oceana. “We applaud the strong leadership and vision of Governor Brown and the bill’s sponsors to protect Oregon’s coast from the dangers associated with offshore oil drilling.”
The new law, which takes effect January 1, 2020, puts into action Governor Brown’s Executive Order 18-28, which made it the official policy of the state of Oregon to oppose offshore oil drilling.
While there is no current drilling offshore of Oregon, the Trump Administration has proposed potential new offshore drilling leases in federal waters off the coast of Oregon, Washington, and California. In response, state leaders, local municipalities, and businesses throughout the West Coast are taking action to safeguard their communities and coastal economies from the risks of offshore oil drilling.
Oregon joins six other coastal states that have passed offshore oil drilling prohibitions; an additional seven are currently considering similar legislation. In addition, five coastal Oregon cities and the City of Portland adopted local resolutions opposing offshore drilling, and more than 110 Oregon businesses have joined the Business Alliance to Protect the Pacific Coast.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one third of the world’s wild fish catch. With over 200 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that one billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit usa.oceana.org to learn more