State Budget Provision On Expanded Offshore Oil Drilling Gathers Opposition

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Opposition is mounting to a provision in the state budget that would allow the expansion of offshore oil drilling in California.

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...


The budget deal would allow a Texas-based oil company to drill off the coast of Santa Barbara.  That’s despite a vote last month by the State Lands Commission to prohibit expansion of oil exploration in California.  Commission chairman, democratic Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, says the proposal amounts to an end route around his panel...


“No matter how you want to present this...this is a new lease in which the governor and the legislature are about to say its’s okay.  Drill baby Drill as long as there’s money in it.  My attitude is exactly the wrong thing to do...”


Garamendi says giving one oil company permission to drill in California opens the door for other firms.

State democratic party chairman John Burton is urging party members to fight the proposal.  In a statement, he said the plan endangers California’s environment and would pad the pockets of oil executives.  Supporters of the measure say it doesn’t violate a 1994 state ban on new oil exploration because the Texas company would use an existing platform to drill in federal waters.  The governor and legislative leaders say they’re pushing the plan because it would generate 100-million dollars to help balance this year’s budget.