One of my top priorities since I was elected to Congress in 1998 has been to protect our coastline and sensitive lands from destructive oil and gas drilling.The disastrous oil spill near Santa Barbara in 1969 polluted miles of coastline, suffocated marine mammals and seabirds, and galvanized the nascent environmental movement.
Earlier this year, I introduced a resolution, H. Con. Res. 32, expressing the sense of Congress that the spill should be remembered as an ecological and economic disaster that triggered major environmental legislation and helped launch the modern environmental movement.
As the Representative of one of the most naturally beautiful districts in the country, I am well aware of the importance of protecting the fragile environment and economic viability of the Central Coast.And given the expiration of the longstanding offshore oil and gas leasing moratoria on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, I am leading the fight in Congress to reinstate the ban and prevent future drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
I have sponsored legislation, the California Ocean and Coastal Protection Act (H.R. 1906), which would ban new exploration and drilling for oil and gas off our state's coast.