Schwarzenegger still wants to drill off Santa Barbara
May 1, 2010
Despite the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill that threatens coastline from Louisiana to Florida, considered by experts to be the worst U.S. ecological disaster in decades, members of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s administration continued to call for new drilling off Santa Barbara. [San Francisco Chronicle]
The attitude out of Sacramento stands in stark contrast to the Obama administration, which announced yesterday that it was putting all new federal drilling on hold until the cause of the BP gulf disaster could be determined.
“This doesn’t really change anything, because we’re looking at a platform that’s already in operation,” said Jeff Macedo, the governor’s spokesman.
Schwarzenegger has long championed the proposed Tranquillo Ridge drilling project off Santa Barbara. Macadeo said Friday that the project remains attractive because the oil company behind the project has agreed to end drilling off the coast in exchange for a permit to do so for the next 14 years.
Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), an opponent of the Tranquillon Project, said the BP spill is “the perfect example of why the oil industry and the term ‘state of the art’ should never be used in the same sentence.”
Some political experts are predicting that the images of the severe ecological damage from the April 22 oil rig explosion could turn public opinion against the governor’s proposal.
More than 200,000 gallons of oil per day are spewing from a blown-out well, a mile believe water, five times the amount originally believed.