How California dodged new offshore oil plan

April 1, 2010

Political will–and strong environmental opposition–seems to explain how California and some other states are being excluded from President Obama’s new plans to increase offshore oil drilling. [California Watch]

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters that “the strategy does not include oil and gas activity off North Atlantic or West Coast states because opposition there was too great.”

Obama’s plan, announced this week, calls for development of oil and gas resources in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic Ocean, and the Mid Atlantic Ocean. States like Virginia are strongly in favor of developing its offshore resources.

But apparently not California. “California is a place where you have the entire Pacific Coast, including governors and senators opposed to any kind of offshore drilling,” said Salazar.

Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), whose district includes much of San Luis Obispo County, praised Obama’s decision, calling it “a victory for California and for all of us on the south and central coasts who have been fighting to keep our coastline safe from new oil drilling.”

Obama’s plan essentially continues the moratorium on new drilling from federal leases off California that has been in place since 1991. However, the proposal does not affect state leases and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to push for new drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara at Tranquillon Ridge.

The state Assembly let the governor’s proposal die last year in session.


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7 Comments

  1. racket says:

    Weren’t we going to string up George Bush by the short hairs for trying to expand drilling in the Arctic? And now Obama does it in one pen stroke and all we are is pleased he left California alone? What am I missing?

    (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      Here is the thing that REALLY kills me about the last proposition of drilling in California waters. People complain about them looking ugly off the coast. They were preposed to be a minimum of 50+ miles off shore!!

      Hmm now let me see. At sea level you can only see seven miles to the horizon. So even from a high mountain unlikely you would see. Also the odds of many if any body ever seeing them (be it pleasure craft etc.) is slim to none but they argured it as ugly and won.

      (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
      • hotdog says:

        No, the issues are and have always been about threat to our coastline with both offshore and onshore facilities and possible leaks. And the issue of the small amount of oil and cost of recovery is always there too. For those who will whine that Barack gets a pass while geogie didn’t- not! All caring environmentalists will oppose this decision even though it is scaled down from the ‘drill baby drill’ cry of our nazi, uh, republican, party.

        (-5) 9 Total Votes - 2 up - 7 down
        • racket says:

          Hotdog,

          I don’t understand what you’re saying.

          Politics aside, what it sounds like you are saying is that somehow the issue of a “small amount of oil vs recovery costs” will be _reduced_ by scaling back permissible amount of drilling?

          Please straighten me out

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
          • hotdog says:

            Not sure what you are saying but I feel that most experts I have heard say this is years away and there is little to be gained. The fact is we want, and need, plenty of oil to do our thing. That is tempered by our grotesque waste and sloth in our lifestyles. Over 30 years ago we had a decent President (Carter) who warned us about energy problems and urged sensible action, he was ignored.
            Now we are wandering around, using tons of oil and demanding more. Its just really annoying in light of my words above. The bloodthirsty screams of ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ from last year or so by the McCain/Rushbo people is typical of the mindless earth devouring lust of certain sectors of our population, all without regard to the consequences to people, animals and the planet.
            I live in SLO, anyone want to meet me downtown sometime for a hair raising example of our gross waste? How about we meet at your house and I’ll show you the same right there. Drilling for more won’t help, we have to clean up our act-at home, downtown, big business and everywhere so we don’t need so much. Less is More.

            (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
            • standup says:

              Where do you live hotdog? Fantasy Land?

              (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
        • BeenThereDoneThat says:

          Well I see you are back to the low road of name calling. That aside take a walk on Refugio Beach north of Santa Barbara. I have body surfed there. The beach is terrible on your feet because of all the NATURAL oil seepage that occurs in the Santa Barbara channel.

          Last I am so tired of the environmentalists whining. When you are ready to give up not only your car but ALL PLASTICS, some medicines (yes you read that right research it) Nylon (like the carpet in your house), fertilizer, your shoes. Should I go on???? You get the point. Yes it has some down sides but it has become so intertwined in our everyday life that it is a necessity like it or not. I agree don’t be careless, manage it properly but if you aren’t ready to go back and live in trees GET OVER IT!

          (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down

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