President Obama has proposed that more than 2,700 square miles off the coast of Northern California be added to the national marine sanctuary system, which would protect the area from oil and gas drilling permanently. It would be the biggest addition to the 40-year-old system in 20 years, doubling the total protected sanctuary area. The otters are so excited you guys.

mike baird

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“This is a matter of economic common sense. Jobs and livelihoods hang in the balance,” [said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D)]. “No one is going to vacation on the Sonoma coast if they are looking at oil derricks.”

I like her logic, even though lots of people vacation along the California coast within view of all kinds of offshore drilling equipment. (Ahem, Santa Barbara.)

In recent months, Woolsey, who is retiring from Congress on Jan. 3, urged Obama to use his executive authority to create a new national monument along the scenic Sonoma coast. Obama, however, stopped short of creating a monument, opting instead to use the NOAA administrative process, which triggers public hearings in Northern California early next year, along with detailed environmental studies. It is expected to take up to two years to finalize …