Protest Targets Walters, Rohrabacher, Trump and Oil Drilling Off Orange County Coast

Demonstrators joined hands Feb. 3 on Laguna Beach’s Main Beach to oppose offshore oil drilling. Photo courtesy of Wave4All

At high noon Thursday, demonstrators plan to gather in Laguna Beach to call attention to their opposition to oil drilling off the Orange County coast and three Washington, D.C., politicians: U.S. Representatives Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and President Donald Trump.

The crowd organized by the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, Greenpeace USA, OFA-California, HB Huddle, Resist Here, Women for American Values and Ethics (WAVE), Mothers Out Front Tustin, Indivisible OC 45, Together We Will Orange County and SoCal Healthcare Coalition will gather in the coastal neighborhood where 45th Congressional District Rep. Walters lives but is actually within the 45th 48th Congressional District represented by Rohrabacher.

He has come out in support of Trump’s plan to restart oil drilling off coasts in the United States that are not Florida’s (because of a promise made to that state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott).

Walters, meanwhile, has remained silent about drill, baby, drilling, although in August she did sign a letter to Trump’s Secretary of the Interior stating that she “look[s] forward to the development of a new National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.” 

Demonstration organizers, who also plan to send oil drilling opponents door to door in Walters’ neighborhood, cite recent polls that show “broad and bipartisan disapproval of offshore oil drilling in California.”

They also note that the issue is raising its oily head “at a time when Walters and Rohrabacher are embroiled in two of the most hotly contested House races in the country. The two also cast votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which were also far out of step with their constituents.”

“We have a simple question for Reps. Rohrabacher and Walters–whose side are you on?” asks Zane Rice of the SoCal Healthcare Coalition. “When you support oil drilling off of our coast, you are certainly not on the side of your constituents.”

Rice is to be joined Thursday by Dr. Sharir Masri, UC Irvine Environmental Health scientist and professor, Dr. Celia Faiola, UCI assistant professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Robin Ganahl, environmental activist and organizer with Climate Action Campaign as well as Orange County residents who belong to the previously mentioned groups.

The gathering spot is Victoria Beach, which can be accessed via Dumond Drive in Laguna Beach.

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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