Louisiana offshore oil explosion sparks concern in Santa Barbara

April 23, 2010

Political observers are debating the impact of the tragic explosion involving the BP oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, and how it might affect the current debate over offshore drilling in Santa Barbara. [Calbuzz]

The ever-growing spill in the Gulf of Mexico stems from last Tuesday’s–Earth Day–explosion and sinking of the BP rig. Eleven workers were killed in the accident.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continues his controversial campaign, working with Houston-based oil company PXP, to begin offshore drilling on Tranquillon Ridge, off the coast of Santa Barbara. The governor’s plan has already been rejected by the State Lands Commission and the Legislature.

Critics are convinced that the images from the Louisiana accident serve as a powerful argument against renewed drilling, especially those of firefighters battling the blaze that eventually sunk the rig. The proposed Tranquillon Ridge platform is located just over three miles from shore, far closer to land than the BP oil rig that sank about 50 miles from Louisiana.

Republican candidates for governor Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner both support the Tranquillon Ridge project. Jerry Brown opposes offshore drilling.

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