Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
SB 256 Bill Signing - Offshore Oil Drilling Ban
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Thank you all for being here today. Especially our members of the Coastal Caucus. We have a lot of legislators in attendance I’d like to thank: Senator Roblan, Representative Brock-Smith, Representative Gomberg, Representative Mitchell, Representative McKeown. And a special thanks to the Surfrider Foundation, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, and the Nature Conservancy.

People flock to our beautiful state for our majestic natural beauty. But they stay because this is a great place to put down roots — to build their families and their lives — because we value our environment.

Even though the Oregon coast runs along the western edge of our state, these coastal communities are central to Oregon’s identity.

We are surrounded by incredible natural beauty, but we are also infused with something more: a progressive spirit, and a commitment to democracy so profound that we have come to lead the nation in its practice. 

From the nation’s first bottle bill, to ensuring coastal access, to preserving our farm and forest land through Oregon’s land use system, we have literally shown the rest of the country how it ought to be done.

And with the help of many of you in this room, we will continue to make progress tackling global climate change this legislative session.

I have learned through my multiple decades in public service that change takes time, and is often done incrementally. I am grateful for the work that my predecessors did to lay an incredibly strong foundation.

Just over a year ago, in a move that undermined decades of bipartisan coastal protection, the Trump administration announced a proposal to open ninety percent of U.S. waters to oil and gas drilling.

Which would have opened our shores, our wildlife, our communities, and our economy to the threat of devastation from an oil spill. Which turns its back on our commitment to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

SB 256 is the product of Oregonian voices speaking loudly for Oregonian values.

This is about more than protecting three hundred sixty-three miles of irreplaceable natural ecosystems. It’s about more than ensuring our iconic salmon have safe passage to ensure their survival. It’s about more than protecting the livelihood of a fisher or small business owner.

It’s about states taking a leadership role in preventing the erosion of core laws that protect our environment.
And we made it happen, the Oregon Way. By working together, across the aisle and around the state.

We still have much to do this session to make sure Oregon’s lands and waters remain safe from the chaos at the federal level, and that we continue to drive our own environmental future.

I look forward to your partnership on that work. And in the meantime, I am thrilled to be on our way by signing SB 256 into law.