This past week, the Trump administration proposed opening up waters off both the California and the Florida coastlines to oil drilling. Unsurprisingly, this move has been met with significant backlash — including from one of California’s U.S. Senators, Democrat and possible 2020 presidential contender Kamala Harris.
Using the president’s own favorite way to communicate and taking to Twitter this Saturday, Sen. Harris made it clear that she is on board with all potential efforts to block the Trump administration’s proposal from actually being implemented.
‘In 1969, California experienced one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history. The spill in Santa Barbara had a devastating impact on the marine life and the environment. We can’t let that happen again by opening up our coastal waters to oil and gas companies for drilling.’
Sen. Harris is, of course, quite on point with her comments here. The Los Angeles Times notes that in light of the state’s past poor experiences with oil drilling, there have been no new federal leases for oil drilling off California’s coastline since 1984.
According to the LA Times, there are a number of ways that Californians can block the administration’s plans from being implemented, including through the fact that authority over tidelands and waters that extend roughly three miles offshore rests with the State Lands Commission. Thus, even if there does end up being leases granted for drilling off the coast of California by the federal government, California can block pipelines to the shore from being built.
The state coastal commission is another weapon in California’s arsenal; that body has the right to review actions in federal waters to, as the LA Times puts it, “ensure they are consistent with the state’s coastal management plans,” although the Secretary of Commerce can overrule that commission.