Friday, November 04, 2005

Governor opposes Pombo on Offshore Drilling

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking on a memeber of his own party's congressional caucus over offshore drilling:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged on Thursday a fellow California Republican, Rep. Richard Pombo of Tracy, to back off his aggressive efforts to change the federal moratorium protecting California's coastline from offshore drilling.

Pombo, the powerful chairman of the House Resources Committee, has been pushing legislation that would allow states to opt out of the federal moratorium and allow oil and gas drilling off their shores.

In a letter to Pombo, Schwarzenegger said changing the current offshore drilling moratorium -- which is approved annually by Congress and bans drilling off California and a dozen other states -- could weaken protections for the state's coastline.

"This moratorium has been in place for 24 years and enjoys widespread support from the people of California, including bipartisan support from elected leaders," the Republican governor wrote.

Schwarzenegger noted that he had campaigned for governor pledging to prevent any further drilling and said that he supported the current moratorium as the best way to maintain that stance.