Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gov. Schwarzenegger Flip-Flops on Offshore Drilling in California

Desperately searching for ways to address his state's budget woes, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has made an about-face, and is now calling for new offshore drilling along the state's coastline.

After years of publicly opposing offshore drilling, Schwarzenegger is now seeking to open up the Tranquillon Ridge area off the Santa Barbara coastline for new offshore oil drilling. In January the California’s State Land Commission rejected a plan to open up the area for drilling by a 2 to 1 vote. Undaunted, Schwarzenegger now wants to bypass the Lands Commission and take the matter directly to the state legislature in Sacramento.

Must be nice to make up the rules as you go along...


Chad Nelsen said...

You can tell the CA legislature that an end around of the State Lands Commission denial of drilling in Santa Barbara is Not The Answer at:

Rick Dobbs said...

So, I sent a note to the governor protesting this and got this back:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the proposed Tranquillon Ridge Lease.

California's coastline is an international treasure, and I have an unwavering commitment to its preservation. I do not support the construction of new oil and gas production platforms, pipelines or other oil production facilities anywhere off our coastline, and I oppose every attempt by the federal government to allow new leasing in the federal Outer Continental Shelf off California.

To help our state through these difficult budget times and to gain important environmental improvements, I am supporting a unique agreement between key environmental groups and an energy company that would generate more revenue from an existing facility. This agreement would allow an existing platform in federal waters to recover oil from a current lease in nearby state waters. The agreement would also remove four oil platforms off the Santa Barbara coast, decommission offshore pipelines and remove oil processing facilities in the cities of Lompoc and Gaviota within 14 years.

There are other economic and environmental benefits from this one-time proposal. During the life of the lease, it will generate $1.8 billion in state revenue, and Santa Barbara County will receive $1.5 million for greenhouse gas reductions. Additionally, 3,900 acres of coastal lands will be donated for public use and conservation, and all greenhouse gas emissions from the lease will be mitigated or offset. When this project came up for its first vote last January, a large number of environmental groups - that oppose offshore oil and gas development - supported this project and pushed hard for its approval.

Again, thank you for adding your voice to this important issue. California's ecosystem and beauty depend on residents like you who are invested in the future of our great state.


Arnold Schwarzenegger

Chad Nelsen said...

The irony of his response is that the environmental groups that initially supported the project, including Surfrider, now are all in opposition of this move by Schwarzenegger because its a end around of a fair and thorough decision making process by the CA State Lands Commission.

You can get a sense of that opposition here: