California Waters Spared New Energy Leases

California’s offshore waters will be excluded from any new oil or gas lease sales per a draft of a five-year Oil and Gas Leasing Program announced by the U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday. The plan, which would significantly open up new drilling in parts of the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, creates a schedule to cover the specifics of lease sales from 2017 to 2022. Officials called the proposal balanced because it would make available undiscovered resources while protecting environmentally-sensitive areas.

Pacific Coast states have long opposed offshore oil and gas development. In July, Rep. Lois Capps spearheaded a letter that was signed by a few dozen California members of Congress, urging the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to prohibit any new lease sales in the planning areas along California’s Outer Continental Shelf. Capps said in a statement Tuesday she is pleased the federal agencies heeded their request.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Biggest Storm Since 1/9 Approaching Santa Barbara

The storm system brings increased threat of flash floods and debris flows.

Jack Johnson Tours Montecito Disaster Area Ahead of Benefit Concert

Jack and Kim Johnson met with Bucket Brigade leaders to see the destruction firsthand.

Iron Chef Caused State Street Pedestrian Death

Famous Chef Larry Forgione charged with misdemeanor for driving into Gilbert Ramirez on February 24.

Lavagnino’s Sudden Victory

5th District supervisor a shoo-in as filing window closes; Gregg Hart also unopposed for 2nd District.

One Half of Old Town Streets to Get Sidewalks

Walkways planned for one side of Goleta neighborhood streets; parking, lighting talks at community meeting March 22.