Santa Barbara County California votes for offshore Oil drilling
'money Talks and they sure need some !"
Proponents claim drilling would provide a new revenue stream for a cashed strapped county and that modern advancements have made drilling safer than ever.
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors approved a measure Tuesday to support offshore oil drilling, decades after an infamous 1969 oil spill coated the coastline and spawned the modern environmental movement.
While the board has no power to approve new drilling, officials debated for hours whether to send a letter asking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to change long-standing state policy and allow oil exploration and extraction in the county.
But opponents, including Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, who recently authored an anti-drilling resolution that passed in the State Assembly, called the letter misleading because it was based on faulty studies.
"Supporting offshore drilling in Santa Barbara is like drilling in the Arctic wilderness," Nava told The Associated Press.
"Santa Barbara is a symbol for the country and the world on the dangers that can occur with offshore oil drilling."
The board's largely symbolic move, approved 3-2, comes at a time when oil prices have hit record highs and new domestic oil and gas production have become key topics in the presidential race. Republican John McCain visited Santa Barbara in June to talk about his plan for dealing with the energy crisis — and it included support for offshore drilling. snip