Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Offshore drilling ban considered for NorCal Coast

Despite surging oil prices and efforts to reduce reliance on feoreign oil, two Democrats from California want to limit the United States' ability to draw upon its own resources:

Fearing the prospect of oil and gas drilling off the Northern California coast, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Lynn Woolsey appeared Tuesday in San Francisco with marine scientists and conservationists to promote legislation that would expand the boundaries of two national marine sanctuaries.

The legislation -- authored by Woolsey, with a parallel measure that Boxer introduced in the Senate -- would increase the jurisdiction of the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries to include all of the Sonoma Coast, thus extending the sanctuaries' permanent ban on oil and gas drilling to those areas.

"Our state is very clear: We don't want any more drilling," Boxer, a Greenbrae Democrat, said at a news conference at Crissy Field. "The Sonoma Coast is one of the world's most biologically diverse marine environments."