Gov. Gavin Newsom met with Southern California elected officials and Coast Guard leaders Tuesday to assess the impact of the massive oil spill off the coast of Orange County, and proclaimed that offshore drilling operations should be in the state’s rear-view mirror.
“It’s time once and for all to disabuse ourselves that this has to be part of our future,” Newsom said. “This is part of our past. We can moralize and talk about the good old days and we can talk about how important these rigs have been to the prosperity of this country and the middle class. But at the end of the day, this is about the stale air of normalcy versus the fresh air of progress.
“Right now fossil fuel jobs are literally outnumbered five to one versus clean-energy jobs in the state of California. This does not have to be part of our future.”
Newsom’s comments echoed those from a host of Democratic elected officials over the past several days calling for an end to offshore drilling.
“What you’re seeing happen in this industry is a lot of the larger companies are selling out to smaller companies that don’t have the capacity to make sure that these rigs are safe,” Newsom said. “You’ve got federal rigs out there and — yes, we recognize our responsibility — state operations that are out there. You’re seeing for the first time in history last year in California more permits were afforded for abandonment than new drilling. That’s the first time that’s happened in state history.”