Open letter to candidates Pedro Nava and Susan Jordan: You criticize the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), Citizens Planning Association (CPA), and Get Oil Out (GOO) revised Tranquillon Ridge/PXP settlement. Yet this agreement would bring the first-ever definitive end date to specific local offshore oil drilling activities, as well as other significant benefits to our state and local community.
EDC, CPA, and GOO oppose offshore oil drilling and have led that fight for a combined 80-plus years. That is why we have been negotiating with PXP for more than three years to craft this historic settlement of a lawsuit we filed against PXP several years ago to protect our coastline.
As you are aware, we are in the process of revising this agreement to resolve the State Lands Commission’s concerns about enforceability. Furthermore, the agreement will be made public as soon as it is completed in order to meet any concerns about transparency.
Mr. Nava, you have made outrageous claims accusing us of taking money in exchange for this negotiated settlement. As an attorney, you know or should know well, that the attorneys for the prevailing party in a dispute commonly receive their attorney’s fees from the other party. This resolution is absolutely no different and it surprises me that you would publicly proclaim otherwise.
You have been vocal in your opposition to offshore oil drilling. Yet you oppose our settlement agreement quite vociferously. What I find interesting and confusing is that you don’t seem to provide any alternative plans to ending offshore oil drilling off our coast, other than talk of an added tax on oil drilling, which certainly won’t put an end to the activity.
So I ask you publicly, and hope you will respond in kind:
If not this, what?
If not now, when?
Please explain how you propose to end offshore oil drilling and when your plan might be accomplished. Let us know why your proposal will be more successful and effective than our proposal, which is supported by our Congressional representative, Lois Capps, our County Board of Supervisors, and the majority of the Santa Barbara City Council. — Naomi Kovacs, CPA executive director