Legal and administrative moratoria prevent new oil and gas leases off the California Coast through 2012 and the National Marine Sanctuary designations prohibit drilling in the areas they cover. However, the Administration has always had its eye on the California Coast as a site for oil and gas drilling, and there has been a renewed effort to dispense with the coastal protections and again allow drilling along the coast. Rep. Eshoo opposes proposals to permit offshore drilling and has fought efforts to weaken the moratorium.
To enhance the protections provided by the marine sanctuaries, Rep. Eshoo is an original cosponsor of H.R. 1187, the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries Boundary Modification and Protection Act, which enlarges the boundaries of these sanctuaries and makes the current administrative bans on oil and gas development permanent. (There is already statutory ban on drilling within the Monterey Bay sanctuary.)