Offshore Drilling: North County cities voice their opposition to - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Offshore Drilling: North County cities voice their opposition to Trump's plan

Posted: Updated:
FILE - In this May 13, 2010 file photo, pelicans float on the water with an offshore oil platform in the background in the Santa Barbara Channel off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File) FILE - In this May 13, 2010 file photo, pelicans float on the water with an offshore oil platform in the background in the Santa Barbara Channel off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/ AP) - Two North County cities on Wednesday declared their opposition to President Trump's plan to open up offshore drilling along the California coast.

City Councils in Solana Beach and Encinitas both passed resolutions at their meetings in opposition to offshore drilling.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced plans three weeks ago to vastly expand offshore oil drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic and Pacific oceans, including in more than a dozen states where drilling is now blocked.

The five-year plan would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore reserves to development by private companies.

The plan has drawn bipartisan opposition by coastal state governors from California to New Hampshire, with at least 11 governors formally asking Zinke to remove their states from the plan. Seven governors from Massachusetts to North Carolina submitted a joint request for exemptions this week.

In California, where no new federal leases offshore have been approved since 1984, Gov. Jerry Brown joined governors of Oregon and Washington in vowing to do "whatever it takes" to stop that from happening off the West Coast.

State officials, environmental groups and oil-industry analysts say California has solid regulatory and legal means to try to make good on that threat.

For one thing, oil companies know that even if the federal government sells leases in federal waters, California and other coastal states by law control the 3 miles (5 kilometers) nearest to shore, all along the coasts.

That means California decides on permits for any oil pipelines that would connect oil platforms to land, along with any transport centers, refineries or holding stations once the crude makes it ashore.

"Operators don't tend to operate (off) states that don't want production," said Kevin Book, an analyst with ClearView Energy Partners in Washington, D.C.

There are ways around California's 3-mile (5-kilometer) lock on shore — such as using ships to transport oil from platforms in federal waters instead of pipelines, he said.

But considering all the potential financial, regulatory and legal problems oil companies would face in drilling off California, oil prices would have to go far higher to make that enticing

Five days after Zinke announced the offshore drilling plan, the Trump administration said it would not allow oil drilling off the coast of Florida, abruptly reversing course under pressure from Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

The Trump administration's promise to exempt Florida from an offshore drilling plan is not a formal action, an Interior Department official said last week in a statement that Democrats said contradicted a high-profile announcement by Zinke.

Brown said he wants the same exemption as Florida.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.