A marine sanctuary off the coast of Northern California will double, extending a ban on oil drilling there, according to media reports.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) held a press conference to announce the changes. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle on the politics behind the announcement:

The proposed expansion from Bodega Bay north to Point Arena in Mendocino County has been blocked repeatedly by congressional Republicans. The only foolproof way to accomplish it now in the face of a Republican majority in the House of Representatives is for President Obama to proclaim it a protected area by executive order, experts say.

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