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California lawmakers push back against more offshore drilling




385757 03: The sun fades from view as it sets between the Hillhouse A, left, and Hillhouse B oil and gas platforms near the Federal Ecological Reserve in the Santa Barbara Channel, February 15, 2001, near Santa Barbara, CA.
385757 03: The sun fades from view as it sets between the Hillhouse A, left, and Hillhouse B oil and gas platforms near the Federal Ecological Reserve in the Santa Barbara Channel, February 15, 2001, near Santa Barbara, CA.
David McNew/Getty Images

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Last month, the U.S. Interior Department proposed opening nearly all of the country's offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, including here in California.

The announcement has inspired protests from environmentalists and state lawmakers,  including Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, who represents several beachside cities in Southern California. 

The state has also said it will deny permits for transporting oil from new leases off the pacific coast. Muratsuchi said the state had the right to do this because the state controls the first three miles of ocean extending from the coastline. 

Muratsuchi is one of the Assembly members introducing a bill banning new infrastructure, like pipelines, that would prevent offshore drilling in those three miles of state waters.

"I certainly cannot predict what this president is going do next, but I can say that California is united in fighting back, including the legislation that I have authored to prevent any new infrastructure, any new pipelines to be built in the state waters so that we can effectively cut off any new oil and gas that is proposed to be developed thereby cutting off the economic incentive to bring that inland and thereby protecting our coast."

What California deserves, according to Muratsuchi, is the same exemption from the extended offshore drilling proposal that Florida was given.



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