California is broke. You hear the Guvenator hollering about it all the time. Now here’s an opportunity for more cash flow into the state, but right away the obstructionist Democratic government uses the same tired rhetoric to say no to oil drilling. There is so much oil off the coast of Santa Barbara it bubbles up from the bottom of the ocean and fouls the beaches. Some extra drilling could probably help with that too. Now I don’t know how much money expanding an oil drilling operation might bring in, but keep in mind, this is California, you need to pay for an EPA study and a permit just to fart.
LOS ANGELES —- Lt. Gov. John Garamendi said Thursday he opposes allowing a company to expand oil drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara because it could signal that California wants to renew offshore drilling.
Garamendi chairs the three-member State Lands Commission, which is set to consider a request next week to lease land to Plains Exploration & Production Co. for the drilling project.
“It raises many issues, doesn’t it?” he asked. “It’s been a long, long time since there’s been new leases in California, so the precedent is really, really important.”
Garamendi said revenue from any new offshore drilling should be used to reduce the state’s dependency on oil.
“I’m a no vote unless and until the revenue from any new lease goes to reduce greenhouse gas emission issues,” he said.
Even the environmentalists are for the expanded drilling.
In a landmark partnership, several anti-oil groups supported the drilling plan in exchange for promises by the company to shut down its local operations within 14 years and give away thousands of acres of land.
The criticism came as a surprise to the Santa Barbara environmental groups that lobbied hard for the project.
Linda Krop, an attorney representing the Environmental Defense Center, Get Oil Out! and the Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara, hopes the panel can be persuaded to issue permits to drill.
“Our fear is that we’ll lose all these benefits if this project is denied,” Krop said.
So what’s the problem? Democrats. They are always the problem.
Critics in the state Assembly and Coastal Commission recently challenged the proposal, saying it could encourage even more drilling in the future.
Garamendi said he has spoken with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as well as other members of the California congressional delegation who expressed “significant concern” that approving a drilling proposal could undercut their efforts to reintroduce a federal moratorium on the practice.
State Lands executive officer Paul Thayer said staff’s recommendation came in part because the proposal violated a long-standing position held by the commission.
“The commission has established a policy that offshore oil drilling in California is less beneficial to the state than the things that might be harmed by it,” Thayer said.
So there you have it. The problem is, as always, Democrats and their tired old rhetoric. It’s their policy, what the majority of people may want means nothing to them.
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