SALEM — The Oregon House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 256 on March 19, 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 off Oregon (3 to 200 miles from shore). The bill cleared the Oregon Senate last month and will now go to Governor Kate Brown for signing.
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. The bill memorializes Brown’s Executive Order 18-28, which made it the official policy of the state of Oregon to oppose offshore oil drilling.
“For generations, Oregonians have defended the environment,” said Sen. Roblan. “Any oil drilling off the Oregon Coast could destroy the things we love in the state of Oregon – our pristine public beaches, and the local industries like fishing and tourism that drive our coastal economy.”
“Today Oregon is sending a clear message that we won’t risk our incredible ocean wildlife, vibrant fisheries or coastal communities with offshore oil drilling,” said Ben Enticknap, Pacific Campaign Manager and Senior Scientist with Oceana. “It’s wonderful to see the Oregon Legislature take strong action to protect our coast.”
The Trump Administration has proposed potential new offshore drilling leases in federal waters off the coasts 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.
Six Oregon coastal cities and the City of Portland have already adopted local resolutions opposing offshore drilling, including Lincoln City, Port Orford, Gold Beach, Yachats, Toledo and Newport. In addition, 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. Visit usa.oceana.org to learn more.