Top California Democrats, drilling foes unite in opposition to Trump’s marine sanctuaries review

Top Democratic Party leaders, environmentalists and fishermen Wednesday gathered in a show of united opposition to President Donald Trump’s order to review and potentially open up federal marine sanctuaries off the California coast to new oil and gas drilling.

Legislators, including House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, urged staunch resistance to any rollback of protections off the coast, which they said would threaten fisheries, recreation and tourism industries.

“This president wants to keep monuments to Confederate leaders and their rebellion against the United States, but he wants to shut down public national monuments that protect uniquely American landscapes and oceans for future generations,” Huffman said in front a of a standing-room only crowd at the Bay Model visitor’s center.

President Trump in April ordered a review of the expansions to 11 sanctuaries and monuments, including four that surround the Channel Islands and cover the California coast from San Luis Obispo County to Point Arena in Mendocino County, shielding 12,300 square miles from oil drilling and other energy extraction.

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Photo by Kent Porter / The Press Democrat