The Latest: Demonstrators blast offshore oil drilling plan

February 8, 2018

FILE - In this Feb. 7, 1969 file photo, workers collect oil-soaked straw from the beach at Santa Barbara Harbor, Calif., following a leak from an off-shore well that covered area beaches. California commissions that oversee coastal lands and water pushed the Trump administration to leave the state out of plans to expand offshore drilling, warning the state would block the construction of pipelines to get oil back to land. The agencies weighed in ahead of a public meeting Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in Sacramento. (AP Photo, FILE)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on offshore oil drilling proposal by the Trump administration (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Several hundred demonstrators at the California Capitol called on the Trump administration to drop plans to expand offshore drilling.

Protesters gathered Thursday in Sacramento ahead of a public meeting where the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will explain its proposal and collect comments.

Some held photos of oil-stained beaches and animals. A few carried a giant inflatable whale.

Jennifer Sauer of Mill Valley says it makes no sense to risk oil spills that would harm the ocean ecosystem so that oil companies can profit.

Jim Wilson of Placerville says the country should be moving away from fossil fuels.

Supporters of offshore drilling say it would lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil and create jobs in California and other coastal states.


10:20 a.m.

The California Assembly has overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing the Trump administration’s push to renew oil drilling off the Pacific coast.

The Assembly on Thursday also asked U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to remove California from the proposed leasing plan.

The 55-8 vote came on the same day as the only federal hearing in California on the plan.

Assemblywoman Monique Limón, a Santa Monica Democrat who sought the resolution, cited previous offshore spills that have tarred the state’s picturesque coastline.

Republicans Randy Voepel of Santee and Travis Allen of Huntington Beach say oil and gas can be can safely harvested. Allen, a GOP candidate for governor, says the move could help lower gasoline prices.


11:33 p.m.

Fishermen, environmentalists and other critics plan to protest at the California Capitol before a public hearing on federal government plans to expand offshore drilling.

The meeting and march in Sacramento on Thursday come as two California commissions that oversee coastal lands and water pushed the Trump administration to leave the state out of its drilling plans.

The California State Lands Commission and California Coastal Commission say they will use their power to block pipelines that would get the oil on to land.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Emergency Management has proposed six sales of drilling rights off the California coast and a seventh off Oregon and Washington between 2020 and 2023.

Update hourly