When are the Environmental Defense Center et al. going to admit their well-intentioned gambit to end offshore drilling has created a politico-business model of paying government and special interest groups to open up the entire coast to more oil and gas drilling, in the state sanctuary and the federal Outer-Continental Shelf? [Letters, “Intranquillon,” 2/2510]
In 2008, there was a moratorium against all drilling, so the basics of this deal seemed (well, sort of) sound, a one-time exception that would actually end drilling on specific dates. Now—with threats for more drilling in the outer continental shelf off Santa Maria, Oceanside, and Mendocino, and a further push for repealing the state sanctuary drilling ban to finance our ailing state budget (a bill introduced by Assemblymember DeVore, R-Irvine)—this deal is turning into a serious blow to coastal protection not just for Santa Barbara but for the entire country.
For good reason, the State Lands Commission denied the gambit in January 2009: because the end dates are legally unenforceable, the lands slated for donation are not guaranteed, only one of four platforms are controlled by PXP, and the risk of spills and blowouts are very real, as the almost-three-month blowout off the coast of Australia last year proved.
Here’s a suggestion, EDC-GOO-CPA [Environmental Defense Center, Get Oil Out!, Citizens Planning Association]: Go back to your earlier model: No new drilling. Not here, not now. Never.
Political and economic capital must be invested today in renewable resources and technologies, as well as stopping the fossil-fueled urban sprawl still threatening much of our wilderness land. By opening Pandora’s box to offshore drilling, we continue to risk our coasts for a commodity that pollutes at every phase of extraction, production, and consumption, fouling our climate as well. For this reason, Assemblymember Nava and future Assemblymember Jordan are holding the line to protect our coasts.
Time to admit it was an okay plan gone wrong. You’ve collected your fees; fine, and let’s move on together with the more than 100 groups who are fighting this T-Ridge Proposal. — Jack Eidt, Director, Wild Heritage Planners, Los Angeles
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Santa Barbara County is broke. Oil in the Tranquillon Ridge will make us fabulously wealthy. Why aren’t we drilling? Natural seepage of oil off the California Coast is 1.8 million barrels yearly. Seepage from oil platforms is only 842 barrels per year. Oil ruins our beaches and makes our ocean a carcinogen, dangerous to surf in. If the oil is pumped out we will be able to pay half the county’s budget for the next 50 years from oil money, and we will get a clean environment, clean oceans, and white beaches forever. — Brian Hunt, Lompoc