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Oregon Legislature extends ban on offshore oil drilling

February 18, 2010 |  2:52 pm

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Call it a coalition of the unwilling. It was a band of strange bedfellows that assembled to lobby the Oregon Legislature into extending the state's moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling -- a 10-year ban won final approval 22-8 in the Senate.

A letter urging the ban was signed by not just the conservation groups, though many of them did sign on. This one included surf shops along the coast, a bookstore in Cannon Beach, the Sea Vue Motel in Yachats, the Dungeness Crab Commission and a group committed to maintaining the health of Ecola Creek on the northern coast.

What they have in common is a stake in Oregon's $5.4-billion coastal economy. "Given the risks to Oregon's marine ecoystems and coastal economy, it is clear that legislation to ban offshore oil and gas development is the right decision," they wrote.

Oil industry officials said there's no immediate push to drill off Oregon -- not much oil there -- but now is not the time to be shutting down energy options. Read the full story here.

--Kim Murphy

Photo: Cannon Beach, Ore. Credit: Bernard Lewinsky

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