Assemblyman Robert Rivas Calls on Governor Newsom to Resist Trump Decision to Open New Land to Oil Drilling

Monday, May 13, 2019

(Salinas) – Today, Assemblyman Robert Rivas denounced the Trump administration decision to open up over 725,000 acres of local land to oil drilling. Rivas went on to ask Governor Gavin Newsom to contest the unprecedented increase of oil exploration on public land. Rivas has officially requested that the Governor file a protest, since Trump’s plans are inconsistent with state and local laws.

“This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Fighting this destructive plan is the right thing to do to protect our health and our future,” said Rivas. “This move by the President was void of research or community input. That’s why I’m calling on the Governor to use his power to review the proposal and highlight how this plan takes us backwards and how it is out of touch with the will of the people. It is entirely inconsistent with state and local law.”

This past Thursday, the Trump administration’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized a plan to open up over 725,000 acres of public lands and mineral estate across California’s Central Coast and the Bay Area to new oil and gas drilling. This includes land primarily in the counties of Monterey and San Benito, including areas surrounding Pinnacles National Park. BLM regulations provide a 60-day window for Governor Newsom to review the plan for any inconsistencies with state and local plans and policies and to provide recommendations.

“The Trump Administration’s call to drill in vast areas of our community is a direct assault on our vital agricultural economy. The unlawful action will also destroy local tourism – which could imperil thousands of our local small business owners.

“This attack on our communities is a distraction from the pressing issues we are all working to solve, like our farmworker housing shortage, the growing homelessness crisis, and the urgent need to improve our public education system. I condemn Donald Trump for taking yet another divisive action at a time when we need to be coming together. I urge the Governor to take swift action to protect our communities.

“I want our area to continue to be known as the Salad Bowl Capital of the World – not the oil drilling capital. Together our farmers and our farmworkers feed the entire nation.

 “We are home to Pinnacles National Park, to Big Sur, and Monterey. We have so much to be proud of here in the Monterey Bay region. I want us to be known for protecting our environment for future generations. I urge all residents to join me to stand up for what is right.” 

Asm. Rivas’ district staff can be contacted for questions or assistance at (831) 759-8676.