Pacific Coast senators want permanent drilling ban

The Senate delegations of California, Washington and Oregon are introducing legislation that would create a permanent oil-and-gas drilling ban in Pacific Coast waters.

The legislation – which follows a House proposal to bar West Coast drilling – is one of several new Capitol Hill efforts to re-impose coastal protections following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Drilling bans along the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts lapsed in 2008.

According to an announcement of the bill from Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-Wash.) office, the bill would “permanently protect the $34 billion coastal economies of the three states – which support nearly 570,000 jobs in California, Oregon and Washington.”

While the lawmakers want to codify protections, the Obama administration has already ruled out selling oil-and-gas leases in Pacific waters.