This information was compiled from the Blue Business Council’s call-in briefing, organized to discuss what actions businesses and community members can take to combat offshore drilling.
1. Encourage Comments to Engage Legal Action.
Of course, most individual comments won’t directly reach administrative members, but it is important to document media outreach, legislative advocacy, and future litigation. There is a 45-day public comment period where activists and community members are encouraged to share their opinions about the National Oil and Gas Leasing Program for the Outer Continental Shelf that runs until August 17. You can comment at Savemycoast.org. You can use social media to make people aware of the issues that the coasts are facing in order to keep the public engaged in the process. Surfrider is doing a campaign to stop oil drilling right now. Don’t forget to watch for toxic policy riders slipping their agendas into larger spending packages that come out at the end of the year.
2. Pass a Local Resolution to Ban Drilling.
In response to a recent executive order, Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino have passed resolutions in California. Advocates are working throughout the state to pass similar resolutions in other counties like Santa Barbara, Ventura, Humboldt, and San Francisco. The main targets are the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, which are part of an oil reserve.
3. Support State Legislation.
In California, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-SB) is leading the way on legislation to restrict and oppose oil development. The Blue Business Council is circulating a business letter of support for S.B. 188, a bill that would restrict the State Lands Commission from issuing new right-of-way leases in state waters. This article details the other bills she is working on to help stop the oil and gas companies from potentially harming our beloved California coast.
4. Plan and Participate in Local Events.
Politicians and local communities have been encouraging local events as opportunities for people to voice their opinions. Businesses can help organize some of these events or participate in press briefings in your area. High profile events have already been planned for Santa Barbara, Monterey, Sonoma, and the Bay Area.
You can also support the statewide or national efforts of your local representative. Congressman Huffman is currently working on the West Coast Protection Act, which would permanently protect California, Oregon, and Washington from new drilling.
5. Show the Federal Administration that Businesses Oppose Oil Drilling
Mobilizing ocean-dependent businesses and raising the issue of the hazardous impact of exploration, development, and potential spills. This is important in gaining non-traditional allies and builds pro-business, Republican support. The business community is imperative in demonstrating that the long-term economic importance of the ocean far outweighs the short-term profits of oil and gas. For example, tourism alone is the second-leading industry in California. The larger coastal economy is a fundamental source of California’s economic growth, meaning oil and gas could kill jobs by putting California’s healthy coastline at risk.