WatchSonoma Watch

Oil drilling fears renewed on North Coast

President Barack Obama’s plan to open new areas off the nation’s coasts to oil and gas drilling exempts California, but still set off reverberations in a state largely opposed to steel rigs in the water.

Richard Charter of Bodega Bay, a veteran anti-drilling lobbyist, said the plan Obama announced Wednesday gives California a “temporary reprieve” from drilling for the next seven years.

“After 2017, all bets are off,” Charter said. Media calls to his office began at 5 a.m., he said, following Tuesday’s advance word of the president’s plan.

A 26-year ban on oil drilling along the North Coast lapsed in October, 2008, during a presidential campaign that included a Republican call to “drill now,” augmented by public frustration over $4 a gallon gasoline.

A gallon of regular gas cost an average of $3.10 a gallon on Wednesday in Santa Rosa, up 10 cents from a month ago and 90 cents higher than a year ago.

Obama’s plan opens vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and gas development.

The California coast from Point Arena south to Big Sur holds an estimated 2.3 billion barrels of untapped oil, and all of California holds about 10 billion barrels. The United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil per day.

– Guy Kovner

4 Responses to “Oil drilling fears renewed on North Coast”

  1. RV says:

    Don’t drill here!
    Drill Alaska all you want. Those people favor drilling (but then, they also elected Sarah Palin).

    Drilling would hurt California’s economy more than it would help.

    And don’t forget that it was Dick Cheney/Enron that played a huge part in destroying CA’s economy.

    Obama, you have let me down, with this offshore drilling thing, but at least you had the sense not to allow it off CA.

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  2. Mickey says:

    Wake up America. If hurricane Katrina produced no oil spills…what is the big concern for drilling off California coast? We could eliminate our budget woes and increase our education budgets without the help from the Obama “take over the world” solutions. November can’t come fast enough. Drill here, drill now.

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  3. Zuma says:

    California, the state that is broke and depends on the federal govt for handouts, and expects other states income taxes to come California, could solve its monetary problems by drilling.

    But the panty waste politicians are OK with driving their cars on oil and gas from the Gulf states and now states on the East Coast.

    California is like a spoiled child that never earns it way in life but expects the mother country and other states to support it.

    If this is California politics and attitude, it sucks!

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  4. Dan Ryan says:

    Drill now drill fast before someone changes the presidents mind. We need to stop depending on other countries for our oil. Stop giving them the money to wage war and we won’t have to fight them.

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