UPDATE Posted at 8:30 p.m. July 9

The Lincoln City Council has approved the resolution to oppose offshore drilling and exploration. The action came during the city council’s regular public meeting on Monday night, July 9.

Previous News Guard coverage:

The Lincoln City Council is scheduled to act on a resolution opposing offshore drilling and exploration when it meets in regular public session at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 9, at Lincoln City Hall, 801 SW Highway 101.

The following information is from the City of Lincoln City’s website, lincolncity.org.

Question:

Should Council approve the attached Resolution 2018-14 concerning opposition to offshore drilling and exploration?

Background:

Councilor Anderson requested a Resolution to oppose offshore drilling. The attached Resolution based upon a model Resolution he provided is submitted for Council discussion.

The attached memo prepared by Charlie Plybon, Oregon Policy Manager for the Surfrider Foundation, briefly outlines the Federal Administrative order, generally what’s economically at stake, a list of ports and cities that have passed similar resolutions in response and other congressional and state leaders that have taken action.

Council Options:

  1. Approve the Resolution, with or without modifications; or
  2. Postpone to July 23, 2018.
  3. Do not approve the Resolution.

Potential Motions:

Council

  1. Motion to approve Resolution 2018-14.

Offshore Drilling in Oregon: What’s at Stake

Background:

On January 4, 2018, the Trump administration released the Draft Proposed Program for offshore oil and gas lease sales from 2019 to 2024. It would open 90% of U.S. waters — including Oregon’s entire coast — to oil and gas drilling. This would undermine decades of bipartisan coastal protection. No one has drilled off Oregon’s coast since 1964.

The proposal has met with steep opposition, with nearly every coastal governor voicing concern. On February 1, 16 Northwest Congress members from both parties calling drilling off the Northwest coast “a waste of time, government resources and taxpayer dollars.” Cities and Ports in Oregon have joined in opposition passing resolutions to oppose oil and gas drilling in Oregon’s ocean and in support of their local fishing, tourism and recreational communities: These include: City of Newport, City of Toledo, Port of Newport, Port of Toledo, City of Port Orford, City of Yachats, and the Siletz Tribal Council.

It’s clear based on other states and messaging from the Department of Interior that local municipalities opinions matter and resolutions have carried strong weight in decision-making with previous administrations.

Oregon’s coast is an economic powerhouse. According to the National Ocean Economics Program, Oregon’s ocean economy is worth $2.5 billion annually, and supports 33,000 jobs. More than 25,000 of those jobs are in tourism, recreation and fishing, the sectors that stand to lose the most from an oil spill. Drilling off of the Oregon coast jeopardizes the strong ocean economy that exists today.

By the numbers

  • $2.5 B ocean economy in Oregon
  • 33,000 total ocean-related jobs, with 25,000 in tourism, recreation and fishing
  • 1964: last offshore drilling in Oregon
  • 21 oil spills expected from Oregon/Washington lease sale (per Center for Biological Diversity analysis based on historical data and federal records)

A 2015 survey by DHM research found that the coast is one of the things Oregonians value most about our state. Seventy percent of respondents said the state should focus on maintaining a quality environment to attract people and companies, rather than relaxing environmental protections to make it easier for companies to do business.

Oregonians are not alone in wanting the coast protected. Gallup’s annual polls show that Americans increasingly want to prioritize environmental health over energy production. In 2017, 59% said we should prioritize the environment versus 34% that want more focus on energy production.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management accepted public comments on the draft plan through March 9 and more than 30,000 people weighed in online in Oregon alone. After the comments are received and environmental reviews conducted, the Proposed Program will be released, triggering another comment period. The Final Proposed Program is expected by 2019, with lease sales to follow. The Oregon/Washington lease sale is proposed for 2021.

The proposed Lincoln City resolution:

RESOLUTION 2018 -14

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF LINCOLN CITY DECLARING THE CITY’S OPPOSITION TO OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DRILLING AND EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING SEISMIC AIRGUN BLASTING

WHEREAS, in Oregon hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of the state’s gross domestic product depend on clean water, oil-free beaches, and abundant fish and wildlife; and,

WHEREAS, the vast majority of Oregon’s ocean wealth stems from our fishing, tourism and recreation sector which benefits from a healthy ocean and coast; and,

WHEREAS, offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration places coastal communities at economic and ecological risk from oil spills and the pollution brought by routine drilling operations and onshore industrialization, threatening the livelihoods of commercial and recreational fisherman and small businesses that rely on tourism and clean and healthy ocean and beaches; and,

WHEREAS, offshore drilling may require significant onshore infrastructure, such as pipelines or refineries, which would harm the character of Oregon’s coastline, contribute to the loss of coastal habitats that provide natural mitigation against coastal hazards, such as wetlands; and,

WHEREAS, offshore drilling and exploration perpetuates our ties to greenhouse gas pollution and contributes to climate change and the resulting sea level rise, extreme weather, seawater intrusion, and storm surge; and,

WHEREAS, the harmful impacts from offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration anywhere along the Oregon coastline could extend far beyond immediately surrounding areas and severely impact communities that rely on the robust economy of the marine industry; and,

WHEREAS, the current administration has expressed interest in opening the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean to offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration, which includes the use of seismic air guns which fire intense blasts of compressed air that rank just behind military explosives as the loudest source of noise in the ocean, every 10-12 seconds, 24 hours a day, for months on end; and,

WHEREAS, seismic air gun blasting to explore for oil and gas deposits has been proven to injure, disrupt, displace, and even kill marine life, such as whales which rely on their hearing to find food and mate, and can impair the health of many fish species, including those of commercial importance; and,

WHEREAS, the Cascadia Subduction Zone makes the Oregon coast highly volatile for a catastrophic seismic event that would further expose the risk and increase the impacts of oil spills; and,

WHEREAS, offshore hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional oil extraction techniques such as acid fracturing, matrix acidizing, gravel packing, and cyclic steam injection collectively referred to as “fracking and other well stimulation,” provide another means to expand offshore oil and gas extraction; and,

WHEREAS, offshore fracking and other well stimulation release harmful toxic pollutants into the marine environment; and,

WHEREAS, the 2019-2024 Draft Proposed Five-Year OCS Leasing Program is in violation of the Endangered Species Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act over oil and gas exploration using seismic air guns; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Lincoln City recognizes that our communities, businesses, and industries depend on a healthy coastal environment for the benefit of current and future residents, property owners, and visitors;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF

LINCOLN CITY, AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. The recitals set forth above are true and correct and incorporated herein by this reference.

SECTION 2. The City of Lincoln City finds that offshore oil and gas drilling, seismic oil and gas exploration, and offshore fracking and other well stimulation unnecessarily risk our economic and ecological health, individually and cumulatively, and therefore opposes any plan or legislation which encourages any oil and gas development, exploration, or fracking and other well stimulation offshore, that would impact the citizens of Oregon.

SECTION 3. The Clerk shall forward a copy of this Resolution to Department of Interior Secretary Zinke; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Acting Director Walter Cruickshank; Oregon Governor Kate Brown, U. S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden; U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader; State Senator Arnie Roblan; State Representative David Gomberg; and any other interested parties.

Section 4. Effective Date. This resolution is effective as of the date of its adoption.

PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Lincoln City this 9th day of July, 2018.

_______________________________

DON WILLIAMS, MAYOR

ATTEST:

________________________________

CATHY STEERE, CITY RECORDER

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