Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Santa Barbara officials to back offshore drilling

If the most liberal bastion of the country wants it, the left better realize their present position is untenable.
Nearly 40 years after a disastrous oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., galvanized the nation and gave birth to the modern environmental movement, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is poised to vote today in support of offshore drilling.

Proponents of the measure contend that the United States cannot turn away from a homegrown energy source at a time when the country is dangerously dependent on foreign oil and technology has made offshore drilling safer than ever.

Opponents, however, deride today's vote to ask Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to change state policy and "allow expanded oil exploration and extraction in the Santa Barbara County region" as an exercise in polls, politics and posturing.

The vote is largely symbolic — the supervisors have no power to approve new offshore drilling, and the governor has come out against it. But it underscores both the issue's volatility and this coastal county's changing reality.

With gasoline prices hovering around $4 a gallon and a presidential election in the offing, even U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and presumptive Democratic candidate Barack Obama in recent weeks cautiously have embraced the possibility of offshore drilling.

No comments: