Cautious PXP Confidence
California’s Legislative Analyst Calls Revenue Projections “Overly Optimistic”
California’s Legislative Analyst concluded that PXP’s proposed Tranquillon Ridge offshore oil development — slated for off the coast of Pt. Conception — “merits legislative approval,” but cautioned that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other champions of the plan are “overly optimistic” when it comes to the project’s revenue projections. PXP has claimed the project could generate as much as $1.8 billion during 14 years. Citing the state’s fiscal crisis, Schwarzenegger has sought — unsuccessfully — to win legislative support for what would be the first new offshore oil development approved in California since 1969. The PXP deal has driven a painful wedge between many local environmentalists — who supported the deal based on a basketful of concessions — and statewide activists, who contend the concessions are unenforceable and that the deal sets a dangerous precedent for more coastal oil development. The deal has emerged as a major fault line in the primary battle between rival Democrats Das Williams and Susan Jordan, now running for the 35th District Assembly seat. Williams has supported the deal; Jordan has vigorously opposed it. The two signed a clean-campaign agreement this past week, agreeing to refrain from negative attacks on their opponents. In addition, the candidates have reportedly pledged to hold interested third parties accountable for negative campaigning.