Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Tranquillon Ridge Post Mortem: "Not Dead Yet!"

By now you probably know that the on-again, off-again saga of offshore oil drilling at Tranquillon Ridge off the coast of Santa Barbara is decidedly OFF.

Last Wednesday, we posted that the pending the budget compromise in Sacramento had given the project the green light and that "man on the street" reactions to the deal were mostly positive (as reported in the Los Angeles Times). Well, call us the kiss of death, because 48 hours later, the project got killed again.

Like a cat with 999 lives, though PXP, the Texas company behind the project, is not quitting.

PXP put out a press release on Sunday that basically called out the Assembly for turning its back on a sweetheart deal for the taxpayers and vowed to continue the fight.

Writing in the Ventura County Star, Tim Herdt notes:

"It should be noted that Schwarzenegger didn’t put up a fuss after the Assembly nixed the proposal. In a news conference immediately after passage of the rest of the budget-balancing package, he didn’t mention rejection of the PXP plan.

[Assemblyman Pedro] Nava said he believes that Schwarzenegger’s enthusiasm for the plan may have wilted last week in the face of such strong opposition from environmental groups. One of their messages to the governor, who prides himself on his strong stance on fighting global warming, is that the oil deal would have ruined his environmental legacy.

The message, Nava said, was that if the deal went through, Schwarzenegger’s record on environmental issues would forever be summed up in a single sentence: “Allowed the first offshore drilling in California in 40 years.”

While PXP says that it is "committed to continue working with California's elected and appointed leaders on a potential agreement for the T-Ridge project," and that it " intends to continue pushing for the project based on its merits to the state of California and address any misconceptions that groups may have regarding the project," you have to wonder just how many lives this cat has?