Friday, January 30, 2009

Tranquillon Ridge, We Hardly Knew Ye!

Back in April we posted about the unusual deal Houston Based Plains Energy cut with environmental interests in Santa Barbara to start new offshore oil drilling in exchange for onshore acreage and a promise to end drilling early. It seemed too good to be true and we noted in that post that:

"Before any oil can start flowing, however, the application has to be approved by the usual gaggle of regulators: the county, the State Lands Commission, the Coastal Commission, and the Department of Interior."

Well yesterday the State Lands Commission stayed in character and nixed the deal. The Commissions sentiments were summed up nicely by the Los Angeles Times:

"Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, one of three members of the lands panel, said allowing any new drilling in state waters would suggest the state welcomes offshore drilling and send a come-hither message to other oil companies. His view was echoed by legislators from coastal districts, including Assemblyman Pedro Nava, who represents Santa Barbara."

The Times has the story: