GOLETA, CALIFORNIA - MAY 20: Oil covers rocks on the beach near Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015 north of Goleta, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU/AP) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown and other West Coast governors say the Trump administration's opening of federal waters to offshore drilling is "reckless and short-sighted."
In a statement Thursday, the Democratic leaders of California, Oregon and Washington pledged to do "whatever it takes" to stop the move.
The condemnation follows the U.S. Interior Department's announced plan to open most of the U.S. coast to seven new oil leases in federal waters.
The move would allow the first round of offshore petroleum leasing off California's coast since 1984.
Political and public opposition to offshore drilling runs strong in the state.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco said, “the Trump administration is racing forward with its increasingly brazen attempts to loot our environment and our planet.”
Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted simply, “Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.”
“The risk of more drilling means the risk of more oil spills and that would be truly devastating,” said Ashley Blacow a scientist based in Monterey who works for the environmental group, Oceana. “Reopening the pacific ocean to more oil and gas drilling would be devastating and would jeopardize coastal communities our local ocean economy and marine wildlife,” she said.
State Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco told KTVU he and his colleagues would fight “tooth and nail” to keep the Administration from moving forward with the plan to expand drilling off the California coast.
“We do have the power to ban or restrict offshore drilling. there was a bill last year to do it and it failed. I think we need to try again,” Wiener said.
A 1969 oil spill off Santa Barbara fouled beaches, killed sea-life and gave rise to the modern environmental movement.
A 60-day public comment period starts on Monday.
The link to the Interior Department's comment page is here
Oceana's website is here.