Oregon Governor Blocks Offshore Drilling

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By The Maritime Executive 10-27-2018 05:45:02

Oregon's Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order blocking offshore oil drilling off Oregon's coast on Thursday. 

The executive order directs state agencies to protect Oregon's coastal economy by preventing activities associated with offshore oil and gas drilling. 

The threat of offshore oil and gas drilling directly threatens coastal economies, marine fisheries, the environment, public health and safety, and cultural resources, said Brown in a statement. Brown sought an exemption for Oregon from the Trump Administration's proposal for offshore drilling, similar to the exemption Florida received, but which no west coast states have received.

“Oregonians have a long and proud history of standing up to defend our state,” said Brown. “And at a time when the Trump administration is trying to allow oil rigs to be built off nearly every coastline in America, I’m tired of waiting for the federal government to come to its senses and realize that this is a terrible mistake. Today, I have signed an executive order to permanently ban offshore drilling along the Oregon coast. This executive order will make it clear to oil and gas speculators that Oregon is not for sale.”

The Oregon Coast is an extremely important economic and recreational asset to the state, supporting approximately 22,000 jobs in its $2 billion coastal tourism and recreational industry, and more than 5,500 jobs in its $320 million commercial and recreational marine fishery. The Oregon Coast also provides an essential habitat for diverse species of plants and animals that depend on its unique ecosystems, said Brown. 

In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to block the Trump administration's plan to expand offshore oil drilling along the California coast.

The state actions follow the U.S. Department of Interior's proposal to open up 90 percent of the country's offshore oil and gas reserves through new federal leases which was announced in January.