Businesses: We can’t afford to risk California’s blue economy with dirty and dangerous offshore drilling

April 28th, 2017

For immediate release

Contact: Garry Brown, Orange County Coastkeeper, , 714 913-7847

Sean Smith, Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, , 949-366-1164, ext. 6

Today, the Trump Administration issued an executive order directing the Interior Department to review the current schedule for offshore drilling lease sales, potentially opening the door to new oil and gas drilling off California’s coast. The order also asks for a review of all marine monuments and sanctuaries from the past decade. Below are responses from Blue Business Council members and California’s business community:

“California has worked for decades to protect our fisheries and grow a healthy aquaculture industry off our shores, and they now support a sustainable combined seafood industry worth hundreds of millions. Why would we jeopardize this renewable resource in pursuit of an outdated energy source? We are already powering homes and businesses with the fuels of the future,” said Greg Dale of Coast Seafoods Company.

“California’s outdoor industry employs more than 700,000 people, and our beaches and breaks are among the state’s star attractions. But we don’t take them for granted. We have seen firsthand how devastating an oil spill can be, and we stand united against any attempts to open our coast to more dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. Patagonia condemns this and other reckless efforts by the Trump administration to line the pockets of fossil fuel companies at the expense of our spectacular public lands and waters,” said Hans Cole, Director of Environmental Campaigns and Advocacy at Patagonia.

“There’s a reason California is home to the U.S. surf industry. Our waves and beaches are iconic, and they are the foundation of our $40 billion ocean economy. We have been working for years to restore and reclaim our coast following the oil booms of the 20th century, and are fortunate now to have clean energy alternatives. We’re not going backwards,” said Paul Naudé, President of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association Environmental Fund Board of Directors and CEO of Vissla.

“Recreational and tourism businesses like mine suffer immeasurably when oil spills into our ocean and coats our coastline. It took months for the public to feel comfortable and safe exploring the Santa Barbara Channel following the Refugio spill and my business felt the impacts. California’s economy can’t risk another disaster like that.” Michael Cohen, Owner, Santa Barbara Adventure Company.

“For the Trump Administration to consider opening California’s coastline to expand offshore oil drilling is as silly as promoting ‘back to coal.’ California is leading the country in clean energy development, and we are not turning back to an outdated dependence on fossil fuels,” said Garry Brown, Executive Director of Orange County Coastkeeper.


About the Blue Business Council

The Blue Business Council, a project of the California Coastkeeper Alliance, is California’s leading business voice for protecting clean water and a healthy ocean in our state. Made up of more than 125 leading California employers, Blue Business Council members include top sustainability innovators and brands that rely both directly and indirectly on California’s oceans and water supplies. Council Members know that a healthy coast and ocean is California’s economic engine, and urge state decision makers to recognize and account for these economic and social benefits of clean water and a healthy coast in management decisions. More at

Categories: Blue Business Council, Coastal Water Quality, Happening Now, Offshore Oil