No oil in Oregon, but senators oppose drilling
By Wendy Culverwell, Business Journal staff writer
Business Journal staff writer
In a move that’s largely symbolic, six West Coast senators propose to permanently ban new off-shore oil drilling along the West Coast
Citing the specter of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf, Calif Sen. Barbara Boxer and colleagues from California, Oregon and Washington reintroduced the West Coast Ocean Protection Act in January.
The bill would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to ban new oil drilling in the future.
The act has no practical impact on either Oregon or Washington. Neither has known off-shore oil reserves or off-shore oil rigs. In addition, Oregon has no refineries.
In California, where 40 percent of the 2 million barrels of oil refined every day comes from rigs that dot the coast, the move is cast as a shortsighted attempt to cut America off from oil deposits and further the West Coast’s dependence on oil from the Middle East.
The U.S. Department of the Interior estimates there are 10.5 billion barrels of oil available off the California coast — enough to feed its refineries for three decades. The Oregon Legislature imposed a 10-year moratorium on offshore oil and gas development in February 2010. Though Oregon Democrats Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley sponsored the West Coast ban, their offices had little to say about the measure.
Wyden’s office referred questions about the bill to a press release issued by Boxer’s office.
Industry watchers are skeptical the bill will pass given Republican control of the House, pressure from rising gas prices and political unrest in the the Middle East.
Boxer, a California Democrat, said prohibiting new offshore drilling along the Pacific Coast will protect 570,000 jobs and $34 billion of economic activity in the three states.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 503.219.3415
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.