Obama bans oil rigs along NorCal coast


At SFBay, we are endlessly thankful to the talented photographers who share their amazing images with us and the world via Creative Commons licenses on Flickr.

When choosing an image for this story, Flickr presented page after page of awe-inspiring images of Point Arena and the Northern California coastline.

Every single one of them would have been tarnished had offshore oil rigs been smeared across their unspoiled vistas.

California may allow fracking of our hillsides, but in Northern California, we’re not going to allow any black gold speculators anywhere near our precious offshore waters.

Thankfully, we have a ally in President Barack Obama, who Thursday signed an executive order protecting large swaths of NorCal coast from oil drilling — forever.

The order expands protection zones afforded by the existing Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. It replaces a series of short-term moratoria that had stood between oil companies and any offshore booty.

Outgoing Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) proposed to the White House that they use the NOAA sanctuary process to permanently protect thousands of square miles of Pacific Ocean off the Sonoma and Mendocino county coasts.

Woolsey, a staunch protector of her district’s coastline, told KCBS:

“This is a matter of economic common sense. Jobs and livelihoods hang in the balance. Our commercial fishing industry depends on a thriving marine ecosystem.”

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.

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