Sunday, April 30, 2017

Coastal Concerns

As I wrote earlier this year, I have pledged not to visit the United States until, at the very least, the Donald Trump presidency is history. That does not mean, however, that my attraction to the west coast, in particular, California, has diminished. Were these better times, I likely would have paid a second visit to a state that appeals to me on many levels.

It is therefore heartening to see that there is no lessening of resistance in the Golden State to Trump and his mad policies of unleashing more fossil fuels to generate economic growth. Long known for its progressive environmental policies, California has no intention of acquiescing in the Orange Ogre's mad plans:
President Donald Trump painted a golden future of “great wealth” and “great jobs” powered by oil pumped from the ocean floor as he signed an executive order on Friday to consider new offshore drilling around the country.

But his efforts could splash harmlessly against the hardened barricades that California has been fortifying for decades with regulation and legislation to prevent additional drilling along its treasured coast.
Traumatized by past oil spills, Californians are in no mood for Trump's disdain for the environment:
“We will fight to the end,” said Susan Jordan, executive director of the California Coastal Protection Network, an environmental group. “They will not get any new oil on these shores."

“Californians will not stand for this,” said Jennifer Savage, a spokeswoman for the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit conservation group. “We love our coast. It's our playground, the driving force of our economy, the place where we find solace, joy and sustenance.”

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, along with Gov. Jerry Brown and top lawmakers, promised to fight any oil drilling.

“Instead of taking us backward, the federal government should work with us to advance the clean energy economy that’s creating jobs, providing energy and preserving California’s natural beauty,” he said.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) quickly announced new legislation Friday that would bar state commissions from allowing any new oil infrastructure along the coast, from piers to pipelines.

The legislation, scheduled to be introduced next week, would buttress opposition to offshore drilling from the California Coastal Commission and the State Lands Commission, who have jurisdiction over the coastline and the waters stretching three miles into the ocean.

"California’s door is closed to President Trump’s Pacific oil and gas drilling,” said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is chairman of the state’s lands commission.
While others, including our prime minister, suggest that exploitation of fossil fuels and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive, Californians, it would seem, are in no mood for either hollow rhetoric or risk-taking.

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