Is it even possible?
Yes, it’s possible. Insane, but that’s what we’ve come to expect.
What do you think The California State Lands Commission would say to a plan that would be worth billions of dollars for the state treasury, was supported by local Democrat lawmaker Lois Capps, and such environmental groups as the Environmental Defense Center, and did I say would be worth billions to the defunct California treasury?
Consider first, one of the members of this State Lands Commission is none other than state Controller John Chiang. The “I won’t carry out the Governor’s furlough order.”, “I’m halting all tax refund payments” John Chiang, who obviously would know in his position the state desperately needs the money.
John Chiang even suffered a mild heart attack, no doubt caused in no small part by the stress of wondering how in the world he’ll tell state employees to prepare for possibly getting IOUs in lieu of actual paychecks.
That John Chiang?
Because “Big Oil” in alliance with any of California’s Eco Groups would invite the “Colmes/Spock Eyebrow Raise” all on its own, so I’ll answer that first. The environmental groups signed a confidential agreement to lobby for the deal in exchange for a bunch of promises from the Houston-based oil company (Plains Exploration & Production Co), including billions in revenue for the state, thousands of acres of land and a commitment to end its local drilling by 2022.
Well, sounds like a no-brainer, which would work well as there are apparently no brains involved in governing this state. Lack of brains won the day again.
The panel voted 2 to 1 against the plan, with state Controller Chiang joining in with Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, who on his Campaign for Governor site brags about his “No” vote.
Seems Garamendi might have been spoken to by
Garamendi has said he has spoken with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other members of the California congressional delegation who also expressed concern that approving a drilling proposal could undercut their efforts to reintroduce the federal moratorium.
Guess Garamendi in his quest for power in California decided his own political future holds more value than the future of California.
One can only guess at Chiang’s resistance, even given his stated concerns that “…that the agreement between the environmentalists and oil company is confidential and the public had not been able to scrutinize the documents. Company representatives relented at the meeting, saying they would be open to releasing the documents.”
More sweeteners that make the “No” vote stupid even for this state;
The company also agreed to shutter its processing plants in Lompoc and Gaviota and give the county $1.5 million for low-emission public buses.
To the local environmental community, which has crusaded for decades against offshore oil, the biggest plum was the end-date on the leases. Generally, leases are open-ended, so companies drill for an indefinite period, cutting back when prices are low and stepping up as new technology makes it easier to tap into the ocean floor.
“This is an endgame scenario and we’ve always been looking for one,” said Abe Powell, president of Get Oil Out!, a Santa Barbara group born in the days after the 1969 oil spill. “We’ve been trying to do this for four decades.”
Under the proposal, the company agreed to cease operations on three of its platforms in nine years and on the fourth, known as platform Irene, in 13 years.
For the Houston-based company, the deal’s sweetest feature was the new operation it hoped to launch on platform Irene. With “slant-drilling” technology, it planned to sink wells deep into the sea floor and then burrow sideways from under the federally regulated waters where Irene sits to the ocean floor under state waters.
The platforms yielded nearly one-quarter of the area’s offshore oil in 2006, according to the Santa Barbara County Energy Division. But the targeted underwater oil field, known as Tranquillon Ridge after an on-shore landmark, could produce as much as 200 million barrels of oil and 50 billion cubic feet of natural gas, the company estimated. Existing pipelines would have been used to deliver the haul to processing plants already in place on shore.
And Pelosi, in her quest to kill jobs, crush energy independence, and insert herself into and control over state politics, wins again.