Today, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 18-28 directing state agencies to protect Oregon’s coast from offshore oil and gas drilling. The Executive Order specifically made it the official policy of the state of Oregon to oppose oil drilling activities from shore to over 200 miles off the state, and to prevent the development of any new infrastructure that would serve offshore drilling operations.
In her announcement today, Governor Brown stated that "Oregonians have a long and proud history of standing up to defend our state. And at a time when the Trump administration is trying to allow oil rigs to be built off nearly every coastline in America, I’m tired of waiting for the federal government to come to its senses and realize that this is a terrible mistake.”
The Oregon coast is a major draw for both tourists and locals – lined with rugged bluffs, secluded beaches, and vibrant coastal environments that support important recreation, education, and fishing opportunities. A catastrophic spill like the 1969 Santa Barbara blowout off California is too great a risk to Oregon’s healthy ocean resources and thriving coastal economies. In Oregon, fishing, tourism, and recreation alone support more than 38,000 jobs and generate about $2 billion in GDP every year.
Ben Enticknap, Oceana’s Pacific Campaign Manager and Senior Scientist, issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement:
“The message is loud and clear, Oregon won’t jeopardize our treasured Pacific coast to the risks associated with dangerous offshore oil drilling activities. Oregon already had the vision to protect our state ocean waters from drilling in 2010, and today’s Executive Order continues that approach to put Oregonians and our shores ahead of the whims of the oil industry and the enormous dangers of offshore drilling. The inherent risks of oil spills and chronic oil leaks are too great for the health of our oceans and the future of our coastal communities, fisheries and economy. Offshore drilling for oil and gas threatens marine life, and pollution from burning fossil fuels is the leading cause of climate change and ocean acidification. Oceana applauds Governor Kate Brown for her leadership and commitment to protecting Oregon’s coast from the dangers of offshore oil and gas drilling. It is time the Trump Administration ends its flawed plans to expand offshore drilling in Pacific Ocean waters off the West 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.