Ventura, Calif. (June, 8, 2015) – In the wake of a devastating oil spill near Santa Barbara on May 19, Patagonia is calling on its customers in California to support an urgent bill currently before the state legislature that would close a loophole in the California Coastal Sanctuary Act and prevent more offshore drilling.
Patagonia made the request in an email sent to approximately 238,500 California residents and in a blog post by Vice President for Environmental Affairs Rick Ridgeway calling for residents to contact their elected officials and made their voices heard.
“The community is angry, and rightfully so – clearly, not enough has changed,” said Ridgeway. “Patagonia is dependent on fossil fuels and we must take more steps to gain energy from clean sources. But we also believe that environmental disasters can move society quickly in the right direction. Let’s take action in the face of this tragedy.”
The California Coastal Sanctuary Act, passed in 1994, contains a loophole from the offshore extraction prohibition – Public Resources Code 6244 – which allows new oil leases if the “State Lands Commission determines that oil and gas deposits contained in tidelands are being drained by means of wells upon adjacent federal lands and leasing of the tidelands for oil or gas production is in the best interest of the State.”
SB 788 would eliminate this loophole by repealing PRC 6244 – ensuring that the Coastal Sanctuary Act and Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) are able to provide their intended protections for our coastal resources and prevent additional offshore oil extraction.
Patagonia also urged customers to consider supporting the local non-profit groups working day and night on the oil spill response by coordinating with government agencies on cleanup activities, holding Plains All-American accountable for this tragedy, and starting to plan restoration efforts for marine wildlife, critical habitat and coastal recreation areas.
For years, Patagonia has supported these local grassroots groups financially and through volunteer programs. More information about these groups and how people can get involved is available on Patagonia’s blog.