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Oil drilling off the California coast

According to an article in today’s Sacramento Bee (, the “Drill, baby, drill” mantra (or hysteria, depending upon your viewpoint) of the Republican National Convention of 2008 “applies to the two frontrunners <in the California U.S. Senate race>, former businesswoman Carly Fiorina and former Representative Tom Campbell, and a third challenger, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.”

Fiorina and DeVore both want to end the ban on additional offshore drilling. Campbell supports slant drilling into state waters from ONSHORE oil rigs.

A bill introduced by DeVore in Sacramento this week, which would have allowed MORE drilling from EXISTING platforms, by companies that PREPAID their future royalties and taxes, was killed by a legislative committee.

Last month, President Obama announced a plan to open much of the East Coast, and areas in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, to offshore drilling. California, Oregon and Washington waters were excluded.

Barbara Boxer, head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is one of the strongest opponents to drilling in the U.S. Congress.

(Note added April 26, 2010: Although a CNN article makes it look as though progress is being made with oil leakage [42,000 gallons/day] after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, California TV news reports that the oil slick now measures 700 mi² and that choppy seas are frustrating efforts to contain the oil, which threatens marine and aquatic life and fishing industries. In addition, major storms are headed to the Gulf, which gives workers only a short window. As of Sunday, only about 1,143 barrels or 48,000 gallons [a little more than a DAY’s worth of leakage] has been collected. The tragic accident with the loss of 11 lives looks like a timely warning with regard to offshore drilling.)

(Note added April 04, 210: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is gushing at five times the previously reported rate, 210,000 gallons/day. All attempts to shut off the spill at the source have failed, and efforts to stop the spill will take weeks or months. Meanwhile, the oil slick has reached the Mississippi Delta.)

-Bill at

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