Monday, April 21, 2008

Coastal Commission Slams PXP's Deal With Environmentalists

The unusual alliance between environmental groups and the Texas oil company PXP has taken an interesting turn as the Coastal Commission weighed in and basically slammed the confidential pact.

The Commission wants to review the fine print in the compact between the erstwhile adversaries before it moves ahead. "No deal," say the environmentalists, claiming that "legal settlements" are routinely confidential.

For groups like Get Oil Out!, the Environmental Defense Center, and the Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara to not only back off of PXP, but to actively lobby on its behalf, there's got to be something earth-shattering in the deal.

The highlights have been made public: PXP will shut down the oil field early, donate a ton of land, and write checks for environmental mitigation efforts. However, that's all fairly mainstream. What lurks in the details?

Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas was quoted saying "That's not going to work."
Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), himself a veteran of the Coastal Commission, quoted Ronald Reagan, citing the need to "trust but verify."
A Democrat invoking Ronald Reagan? Nothing should be surprising in this saga.

Let drilling begin, groups urge [Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News]