California offshore drilling ban advances

Proponents say the state’s oil and gas production is at the end of its lifecycle.
Workers in protective suits clean the contaminated beach with a platform in the background in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Oct. 11, 2021, a month after an offshore oil spill. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

The California Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday advanced legislation to ban oil and gas exploration off the state’s coast, with supporters citing the risk of an oil spill and opponents raising concerns that the bill could result in the state seizing private property.

Under SB 559, introduced by Sen. Dave Min (D), the State Lands Commission would begin negotiations for voluntary sale of the oil and gas production leases in state waters. The commission would terminate the leases if negotiations are not concluded by the end of 2026.

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