California oil spill renews calls to ban offshore drilling

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Oil spilling into federal waters off California’s coast has prompted fresh calls for an end to offshore oil drilling in state and federal waters. But that’s easier said than done.

Neither the longstanding ban on new drilling leases in state water nor an effort in Congress to ban new leases in federal waters stop existing drilling.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says its easier to ban new drilling than to wind down what already exists.

But he says the spill gives new urgency to the state’s efforts to reduce oil production.

That includes by issuing more permits to abandon wells.

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