From Crisis to Common Sense on Energy

By July 21, 2009Energy

Debra Saunders, writing in The San Francisco Chronicle, “Offshore oil drilling solves problems“:

Sacramento is so desperate to erase the state budget’s $26.3 billion shortfall that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic Legislature seem poised to end decades of prohibition so that they can tap new revenue from a widely occurring natural resource – one dear to many Californians and known for its unmistakable aroma.

That’s right, Sacramento is considering a budget that would raise as much as $1.8 billion in royalties over 14 years by allowing new offshore oil drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara. As of my deadline, the outcome is uncertain.

The Governator points out that the Tranquillon Ridge project would not open up new oil leases or require new offshore platforms. Instead, the project would allow Plains Exploration & Production Co. to slant-drill from existing federal offshore oil platforms into state waters.

More from Dow-Jones, “California Could Expand Oil Drilling Under Budget Agreement.”

How in the world could environmentalists agree to this? Plains had to promise to dismantle everything — platforms included — after 14 years. Surprised they wouldn’t have to pump dinosaurs back into the wells. (And we always expect a bait-and-switch approach from the litigating green left: Let the project cost some money and then close it down in the courts.)

In any case, one project is good, but it’s not an energy strategy — it’s only an indication of what a comprehensive energy strategy should look like.

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