NRDC Tool Reveals California Delegation Stances on Offshore Drilling

WASHINGTON (August 15, 2018) – The Natural Resources Defense Council is launching a new digital tool today to help the American people track where their governors and members of Congress stand on the Trump administration’s proposal to expose nearly all of our coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling.

The following is a statement from Franz Matzner, Director of Federal Affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Californians need little reminder of why drilling is such a bad idea. They feel the effects of climate change daily, with huge swaths of forestland on fire and recurring drought.  Producing dirty energy offshore would lock in decades of carbon pollution and put the state’s coastline and communities at grave risk of spills and contamination. Sixty-seven percent of Californians do not want new offshore drilling.

“With this tool, you can look up elected officials in the California delegation and see where they stand on this issue. Protecting the state’s $22.3 billion ocean tourism and recreation economy is going to require unyielding, united opposition to Trump’s radical oil and gas drilling plan.”

What NRDC’s analysis reveals about the California delegation:

The state legislature, governor and the majority of members of Congress have been vocal in opposing the Trump administration’s plan.  But opposition is not universal.

Representatives David Valadao and Ken Calvert support offshore drilling.

13 Members of Congress have not taken a position on drilling.

  • Representative Jim Costa
  • Representative Doug LaMalfa
  • Representative Tom McClintock
  • Representative Paul Cook
  • Representative Jeff Denham
  • Representative Devin Nunes
  • Representative Kevin McCarthy
  • Representative Steve Knight
  • Representative Ed Royce
  • Representative Mimi Walters
  • Representative Dana Rohrabacher
  • Representative Darrell Issa
  • Representative Duncan Hunter

4 Members of Congress oppose new drilling regionally:

  • Representative Raul Ruiz
  • Representative Karen Bass
  • Representative Mark Takano
  • Representative Maxine Waters

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris oppose all new drilling and Governor Jerry Brown opposes new drilling.

34 Members of Congress oppose all new offshore drilling.

  • Representative Jared Huffman
  • Representative John Garamendi
  • Representative Mike Thompson
  • Representative Doris Matsui
  • Representative Ami Bera
  • Representative Jerry McNerney
  • Representative Mark DeSaulnier
  • Representative Nancy Pelosi
  • Representative Barbara Lee
  • Representative Jackie Speier
  • Representative Eric Swalwell
  • Representative Ro Khanna
  • Representative Anna Eshoo
  • Representative Zoe Lofgren
  • Representative Jimmy Panetta
  • Representative Salud Carbajal
  • Representative Julia Brownley
  • Representative Judy Chu
  • Representative Adam Schiff
  • Representative Tony Cardenas
  • Representative Brad Sherman
  • Representative Pete Aguilar
  • Representative Grace Napolitano
  • Representative Ted Lieu
  • Representative Jimmy Gomez
  • Representative Norma Torres
  • Representative Linda Sanchez
  • Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard
  • Representative Nanette Barragan
  • Representative Luis Correa
  • Representative Alan Lowenthal
  • Representative Juan Vargas
  • Representative Scott Peters
  • Representative Susan Davis

More on the threat drilling poses to California:

  • The stakes are high in California.  Its prized coastline provides $22.3 billion in tourism and recreation economic output annually.  Its ocean waters are home to many vulnerable species, including whales, seals, sea otters and seabirds—all of whom would suffer from seismic exploration and the oil spills that come with drilling.
  • California has been a world leader in the race to a clean energy economy that creates jobs without sacrificing clean air, ocean health, coastal economies and our shared climate.
  • California won’t turn back the clock.  This is the first national proposal to drill off the Pacific Coast in decades.  The broad bipartisan Californian opposition to drilling dates back to the Santa Barbara spill in 1969 that provided the public with a dramatic example of the dangers of offshore drilling.

NRDC determined that the order of strength of opposition would be ranked as follows: 1) Voting on offshore drilling amendments in 2018; 2) Co-sponsoring, sponsoring, or signing on to a relevant bill in the 115th Congress; 3) Signing on to a letter or submitting an official comment to the Bureau of Energy Management in 2018. Whichever avenue a member of Congress chose to make their support or opposition clear, NRDC took the extent of that particular geographical specification to determine their designation.

Click on NRDC’s digital tool, “Stop Trump’s Offshore Drilling Assault,” to see where members of California’s delegation stand on drilling.

For more on the topic, here is a blog by NRDC’s Alexandra Adams and Franz Matzner.

# # #

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

Related Press Releases