CBS 5 with MendoCoastCurrent edits, January 8, 2009
New legislation may prevent oil drilling off the California coast in Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
Growing concern about the nation’s reliance on foreign oil has led to rekindled enthusiasm in some quarters for coastal oil drilling, and renewed efforts to protect the Northern California coast.
Two bills introduced when Congress convened this week place a ban on coastal oil drilling in Northern California, one by creating a marine sanctuary off the Sonoma coast.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey of Marin and Sonoma counties attempted to push the marine sanctuary bill through when a 26-year moratorium on offshore oil drilling expired last year.
Another bill by Rep. Mike Thompson of Northern California permanently bans drilling off the coasts of Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
Both said without quick action, new oil rigs may soon dot California’s coast.