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WatchSonoma Watch

GOP bill could open up Sonoma coast to oil wells

By GUY KOVNER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A Republican move to expedite offshore oil drilling in response to $4-a-gallon gasoline includes a bill, scheduled for a House vote this week, that could bring oil wells to the Sonoma and Mendocino coast.

“They have the votes to do it,” said Richard Charter of Bodega Bay, an anti-drilling advocate with Defenders of Wildlife.

The first of three drilling-related bills sponsored by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., House Natural Resources chairman, passed last week, 266-149, with 33 Democrats in support and only two Republicans opposed.

That bill, related to oil lease sales off Virginia and in the Gulf of Mexico, is intended to reverse the Obama administration’s hold on oil leases imposed after the Gulf oil spill.

But another measure, HR 1231, requires the Interior Department to offer leases in every area, including California, with significant oil deposits three miles off the coast.

The measure, “Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act,” is intended to double offshore oil production by 2027. It is scheduled for House action Wednesday.

“This is the oil industry’s dream come true,” said Charter, a veteran of the 30-year battle over North Coast oil development.

The last time gasoline hit $4 a gallon was during the 2008 presidential campaign, when an offshore oil moratorium lapsed and Republicans pushed to “drill now.”

None of the three bills is likely to win approval in the Senate, where Democratic leaders are intent on ending tax breaks for profitable oil companies, the Associated Press reported.

But Charter said the Republican goal is to inject oil drilling into next year’s election campaign.

President Barack Obama, speaking to auto plant workers in Indiana on Friday, acknowledged that gas prices “have been eating away at your paychecks and that is a headwind that we’ve got to confront.”

Crude oil prices fell 15 percent last week, the steepest decline in 2½ years, and gasoline prices at the pump ended a 44-day upward streak, retreating to $3.98 nationally.

Pump prices averaged $4.27 for a gallon of regular gas in Santa Rosa on Saturday, a slight drop from Friday’s $4.28 but still $1.11 higher than a year ago.

North Coast Reps. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, and Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, both said they will vote against Hastings’ bills.

Woolsey said she was “vehemently opposed to any drilling” and will pursue her effort to win permanent protection for the Sonoma Coast by doubling the size of two national marine sanctuaries.

Thompson and Woolsey co-sponsored a measure last year to ban oil and natural gas drilling on the West Coast.

The oil industry, given the opportunity, would pursue oil deposits three miles offshore from Point Arena in Mendocino County and Bodega Bay in Sonoma County, Charter said.

The North Coast is part of a section of California coast that holds an estimated 2.3 billion barrels of oil, about 2.4 percent of the nation’s total untapped oil.

Developing California’s offshore oil deposits will generate jobs, government revenues and reduce the state’s dependence on imported oil, oil industry officials say.

The Energy Department has said it will take seven to 10 years for any newly opened drilling area to produce oil, and that its impact on oil prices would be insignificant.

This story includes information from the Associated Press.

—–O—–

The Watch Sonoma County Poll

Should oil drilling be allowed off the Sonoma coast?



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43 Responses to “GOP bill could open up Sonoma coast to oil wells”

  1. Western Cluebird says:

    @ Caitlin Strom-Martin,

    President Obama came out last week in favor of more oil drilling and exploration here is the U.S.A.

    How awkward your rant seems now.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  2. Biker says:

    I’m sure you’ll let me know if this is incorrect but, aren’t oil companies making billion dollar quarterly profits. I heard that last time gas was so high that Chevron made more money than any company has ever made in a quarter in history. It sounds that they are just charging what we will pay but they don’t need to do it, it’s not costing them to make it, they are pocketing all this money for themselves.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. @ Caitlin Strom-Martin….Your comments are far from the truth and quite frankly, bigoted towards a “group” of individuals, who by the way are a collection of all ethnic backgrounds. Would it be fair I call you a racist? No, it wouldn’t. See the problem with your comment is because I don’t know you, it just not factual.
    As a “Republican”, and I know I speak for many, we are proud “Stewards” of this glorious, beautiful planet that God created. We recycle, eat healthy and yes, we even exercise. We enjoy the fact that we have a variety of vehicles to choose from. I wouldn’t only place the responsibility of being fat and addicted to SUV’s on Republican’s alone, because as sure as I type this, there are Progressive Dem’s who are enjoying the pleasures of McDonald’s while going through the drive-through window, chomping on their Quarter Pounder, in their SUV. We are charitable and we reach out to our communities. We also KNOW that this green agenda has been in place for years and there is nothing out there that can take the place of oil at this time in history, hopefully one day, but unfortunately, not at this time. So, before you place fault on the shoulders of a group you obvious do not like, it would be wise to get your facts straight….because you only prove just how intolerant you are of a group of people who call themselves “Republican’s”.
    Intolerant: noun lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, etc

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  4. Lets be Reasonable says:

    @RC – I would not be opposed to your idea about the gas tax. I’m also not proposing tax incentives for any particular energy solution (though, the gas tax itself would help pick the loser – oil). I am proposing spending more on research and infrastructure, and this could come from your gas tax. Our energy grid needs a major overhaul, regardless of which energy solution(s) win out. The research would need to be somewhat scattershot at the beginning, and could become more focused based on initial results. The money spent going to the moon may’ve seemed wasteful, but we are still benefiting from the research that was done.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  5. RAW says:

    As for the 5 foot rise in the ocean in the next 90 years. It is projectect at 4 inches at the most. … Just like your guru know-it-all Ted Dansen, we were all supposed to be dead 10 years ago. Follow a whacko premise and you end up saying whacko things.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  6. RAW says:

    I guess hydro-electric is out because it would display some deer and black bear? Too bad. It works with proper control.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  7. Reality Check says:

    //US oil reserves are tiny compared to the rest of the world.//

    If you had inserted the word “known” between US and oil, I would agree with you. So much of U.S. territory, especially offshore, has been declared off limits to oil prospecting that we really don’t know what our reserves might me.

    Rather than the current hodgepodge of tax breaks and subsidies, to mostly pick winners and play politics, how about a straightforward, but phased-in, increase in the gas tax? It would provide a clear incentive to reduce gas consumption and let the marketplace decide which alternative is more attractive.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  8. Lets be Reasonable says:

    A couple of points of note – the taxes that the oil companies claim that they pay include Fed and State Gas taxes that we actually pay, not them.
    .
    US oil reserves are tiny compared to the rest of the world. Drilling here will not lower prices or lessen our dependence on foreign oil.
    .
    People think Carter was a horrible president, but if we had gone ahead and implemented his gas mileage standards back then, we would be a lot better off now. Instead of buying a Prius, we would likely have many great American fuel efficient cars by now.
    .
    Oil is a finite resource, and world demand will continue to climb until we figure out how to reduce our need for oil. Instead of giving tax breaks to oil companies, we should be putting money into research on ways to lessen the need for oil. We need to figure out how to make coal cleaner for electricity production. we need to come up with an alternative mobile power source for cars/trains/planes etc. Geothermal has great potential. Solar and Wind are not the answers, but they are part of the solution. Solar is most effective during peak demand times, so it allows power companies not to use their most polluting power plants. In the not-so-distant future, all houses will be built with solar roof shingles, cars will be electric and be charged by them. Let’s get there sooner by investing in the right direction!

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  9. BeatDude says:

    Drilling offshore will not reduce the price at the pump for at least 15 years…if that. Unfortunately lots of people give into the hype that if they start drilling offshore right now the price is going to go down we you tank up next week, NOT going to happen.

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  10. Drilling off our coast wouldn’t lower the cost of gasoline and oil.

    Why do Republicans generally want to screw the environment for any scrap of profit they can manage to find? Why do they think that oil is the be-all, end-all of modern civilization? They do not want us to utilize alternative energy because it puts their shares in the oil biz at risk and causes their non-expanding minds to tremble in confusion. They want us fat, addicted to our ridiculous SUVs, and unaware of the beauty of our planet. All this party seems to care anything about is money, money, screwing the environment, and money. Where are the Reps who actually enjoy nature and don’t want to drill or mine everything in sight?

    Anyone who loves Sonoma County would be against this drilling proposal. Get the heck outta your cars, take a walk, or ride a bike. Breath already! Oxygen is good for the brain.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 16

  11. bear says:

    Everyone (especially oil and gas TV ads) keeps saying we have oil “for a hundred years,” and that oil sands and fracking (underground explosions to concentrate natural gas and pollute groundwater) gives us an equal supply of natural gas.

    Then what? You can’t drink natural gas, and our needs just might extend beyond 100 years. Some things can be replaced by solar and wind energy, but I don’t know where we’ll get enough electricity (or the grid) for an electric car fleet. I also don’t see how jets will fly on either of those energy sources.

    So the prudent thing to do is reserve oil and gas for things that can run ONLY
    on oil and gas.

    Our grandchildren will hate us anyway, even if we started fixing this tomorrow. They will be too busy bailing out New York, New Orleans and other coastal areas worldwide that will be under water if sea levels keep rising.

    The current prediction is 5 feet higher by 2100.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

  12. Zulu Zero Six says:

    When God created the earth, he gave man oil. He said ” thou shalt drill baby drill” and all was good.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

  13. Jim M says:

    One day we will and should drill for oil here, but every year we wait the oil just increases in value, and the technology gets better to minimize the risk of spill. And in terms of national security we need to keep this as a reserve that we can tap into in the event of a serious war. You can’t power military jets on battery cells.

    Drilling would have no effect on the price of gas because the OPEC countries would just pump slightly less. They are shooting for a price that is as high it can be without crippling the economy and therefor decreasing their sales.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  14. Liz says:

    Woolsey said she was “vehemently opposed to any drilling”

    Should oil drilling be allowed off the Sonoma coast?
    Yes (76%, 211 Votes)
    No (24%, 65 Votes)

    Total Votes: 276

    Well once again it seems as if Lynn is not listening to the people and only doing what she wants.
    Every time I try and contact her I get nothing, she just does not listen to all the people in her district and only listens to who she wants to. Lynn needs to play fair and listen to everyone!
    We need the oil, we must drill. Here and now is the best thing!!!

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 17

  15. Reality Check says:

    Oil is a commodity. Like all commodities, its profits swing wildly from fantastic to poor. This is also true of farming, mining, ranching, and oil. Just ask any grape grower around here.

    Still, over the long haul, oil profit margins are less than most other industries. And they are far less than in Silicon Valley, where Pres. Obama visits 3-4 times each year to collect tens of millions in campaign donations.

    Who is richer, the titans of oil companies or technology companies? It’s an easy answer: no exec of a large U.S. oil company comes close to the wealth of Larry Ellison, Ballmer, Jobs, etc., etc.

    Let me know when our president complains about their “obscene profits.”

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 7

  16. Skippy says:

    The only industry with a 67% profit margin is the illegal drug biz.
    Unlike Big Oil, dope cartels reinvest very little of their profits into R&D.
    I say, God bless our oil companies. Without them, we are back in the 19th century.
    A major US oil co. was told last week they will not be granted drilling rights off Alaska despite the 5 years and $4 billion they invested in permits, leases, licenses, EIR’s, etc.
    Worry not, greenies. There will be no drilling off our coasts.
    Until the adults are in charge again, that is.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 13

  17. Reality Check says:

    //. . . and a profit margin of 67% who is really paying their taxes!//

    OK, I’ll bite. As someone who’s familiar energy company profits, what’s the basis for that claim?

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  18. Common Sense says:

    BigDogatPlay are you really thinking right. With billions of dollars of subsides and a profit margin of 67% who is really paying their taxes!

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  19. Jon Bixler says:

    Ecowhackos and enviroluddites notwithstanding, drilling off the north coast is a disaster waiting to happen. Nevermind that we’re in an extremely seismically active zone, the process of developing the infrastructure necessary to support offshore rigs will be an eyesore at best, an environmental catastrophe at worst. Even if a drill rig has a perfect safety record and manages not to spill hundreds of thousands (or millions) of gallons of crude into the ocean, the drilling process itself is hugely polluting.

    And for what? The amount of crude that can be collected from the north coast is negligible as compared to our annual consumption… barely even scratches it. It certainly won’t impact the prices at the pump. The end result will be even more money in the pockets of big oil at the expense of our environment.

    Rather than spending untold billions and ten years in infrastructure development, spend that money figuring out how to extract natural gas without destroying the ground water. Energy companies estimate over a hundred years supply of natural gas in this country alone. Converting automobiles to natural gas is a relatively simple matter. It burns cleaner and pollutes less than gasoline. Best of all, we already have the resources. Enough with the oil already!

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  20. Skippy says:

    Sigh…
    Fairytale unicorn pixiedust energy sources that emit sustainable good vibrations exist only in the imagination of the eco-fantacist.
    Do these folks drive electric cars? No.
    They don’t quite exist yet.
    Do they flick lightswitches? Yes.
    And consider it their right to do so.
    Do they fight all attempts to increase actual US energy independence?
    As surely as night follows day.
    It is long past time to blow past the eco-luddites and drill, or just resign ourselves to the status of customer, heating and lighting our homes only as our OPEC masters permit.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 12

  21. Cynthia says:

    I agree with Victor. Think it through people. Drilling is not the answer and would be a great loss to our local fishing and tourist economy. I say a big no to drill baby drill . In addition to local economic pains, we need to weigh out the benifits of drilling and ask is it worth the longterm gain to impact local economy AND the future generations to come with another possible Spill baby spill ? Why not think of the alternative choices instead?

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 10

  22. BigDogatPlay says:

    The canard of windfall profits and eliminating subsidies is exactly that. A canard.

    The government’s own figures indicate that he oil companies pay taxes far and above their profit margin and have for decades. Please see http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/1168.html for a more detailed discussion.

    Besides… who do you think really pays for all those taxes? If you answer the oil companies, please go back to school and re-take ECON 101.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  23. Common Sense says:

    “Republicans Chose To Keep Big Oil Subsidies, Costing Americans Billions Of Dollars”

    This was in the news the other day and on top of a 67% profits for the oil companies??

    The Oil companies are NOT in this for us and we will not see a real savings by drilling for more, We only put our coast at risk with little if any relief at the pumps.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  24. Reality Check says:

    Would those opposed to coastal drilling change their minds if California had an oil extraction tax? I didn’t think so. Opponents raise the point just for propaganda purposes. It has nothing to do with the issue.

    Still, California ought to have an oil extraction tax . . . if it didn’t already have so many high taxes. California is consistently cited as the least business friendly state in the nation, for both taxes and regulation. Let’s pile on some more.

    Maybe we can drive out energy companies the same way we have manufacturing businesses. Then we all can import our energy as well as practically everything else . . . and complain all the while about shrinking revenue and jobs.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9

  25. SAME DRILL,DIFFERENT BILL says:

    From some of the same elite that brought us the largest environmental crime America has ever seen. Actually some of the same people spearheaded Agenda21. Isn’t it ironic that these globalists prostitute our planet ar will. Yet inflict junk science guilt and oppression on us, citing OUR damage to the Earth. Even getting the EPA to classify carbon dioxide as a TOXIN! Unbelievable.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

  26. john bly says:

    Let’s produce what we need here, not there! I say end the tax breaks for the oil companies and let them bid on the reserve leases off our coast-that will help the deficit and our national debt tremendously.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 11

  27. Skippy says:

    The ecowhackos have sung this song for decades. It seems in their world, that there is never a good time or place to drill for oil. It is remarkable that this never changes.
    I say, drill everywhere and do it today.
    We gotta start increasing domestic supply someday.
    Why is today always the worst day to start, if you’re a greenie?
    A modest proposal: every enviroluddite has to choose. Drill or walk.
    Revoke the drivers licences of everyone opposed to drilling in the USA.
    Put their shoeleather where their mouths are!

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 22

  28. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    For those who think that those oil companies will be taxed for their oil extraction, think again. We are one state that does not tax the oil companies. Other oil producing states do. We already extract oil in this state. It’s time the oil companies paid taxes on it. Ca needs the money and it’s fair considering the profits they have been making.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 5

  29. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    There is the delusion in people’s minds that drilling off the coast will bring down prices. It won’t. Production will take years and years.

    Look at the destruction in the gulf. Look at the shores in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez. Dig down into the sand and there is oil. Look at the beaches in Santa Barbara. Still polluted with oil from their last rig spill.

    Do we really want this off the coast? Can we really trust these big oil companies to act responsibly? Not a chance. They prove everyday that they care about profits over safety to their workers and the environment.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 14

  30. James Bennett says:

    Yeah, good idea…then they can ruin the left coast too. The world is their (dead) oyster.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 7

  31. Brian Brazoot says:

    I say “drill baby drill” because I have the right to cheap gas for my gas guzzling, CO2 belching Hummer. Oysters are slimy anyways. Beaches are dirty. And tomatoes have gross seeds.

    I say more MacDonalds, Coke, & Panera Bread chain food ’cause I have the right to eat whatever trash I want and then get heart disease at 50. What’s to live long for anyways. We’ll probably have a woman in the White House by then.

    I say cigarettes should be even cheaper because I have the right to cough-up black phlegm while wasting away in the cancer ward of a hospital. And my pension and insurance plan will keep me alive no matter what I do to myself.

    You see, these issues really come down to my rights as an American.

    Forget fish, coastlines, air, health costs, insurance, traffic, parking, trees, polar bears, or any of that greenie, “future” liberal stuff. All they care about is the world and the generations that will follow us. Idiots.

    Bring on the cheap gas. And bring it on quick. I’ve gotta’ pick-up some body panels for my deisel ATV in San Leandro.

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 11

  32. BigDogatPlay says:

    The notion that even limited exploration would not have an effect on futures prices in crude oil is ignorant of the way that commodities markets work. The effect would not be immediate, but it would happen.

    The fear, uncertainty and doubt being spread here is just amazing. Offshore exploration has a remarkably strong safety record. The BP event in the Gulf is the exception not the rule.

    And aside from the longer term effects of lowering market prices for crude, the short term effect of jobs… hundreds or perhaps even several thousand really good paying jobs, and the hundreds of millions of dollars that would be poured into our local economy through the support and services sector, make a very strong argument for at least dropping a few test wells.

    To argue that we must keep the coast closed at all costs, as the greens do, without any attempt at having a fact based dialog, is about as close to Luddite as I think I may ever see.

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 14

  33. Anderson says:

    Does anyone truly want drilling off the Sonoma County coast? Probably not, especially when better alternatives exist.

    But the bigger problem is that Obama and his looney left friends really don’t want to drill anywhere in the US. They act like coal, oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels are the bane of humanity (unless Brazil will extract them for us, then that’s okay and Obama will toss them $2 billion to help out).

    The hypocrisy, arrogance, and incompetence demonstrated by political “eiltes” over this issue is maddening. In contrast, let’s say YES to solar and coal, wind and oil, natural gas and hydro, biofuels and whatever new technologies come along.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 13

  34. Not A Chance says:

    @anyone who wants to drill off our shores

    BP and the gulf should be enough for us to reject this.

    And when are you going to get that the oil companies have ZERO interest in paying a dime more in taxes? They’re running commercials about it for Christs sake. They will fight paying taxes forever and will continue, no matter the supply, to gorge us on oil prices not because they have to but because they can, 4.50 a gallon makes more profit than 2.50, every time. Do you think they lose sleep at night over gas prices? hell no, they sleep like babies dreaming of massive salaries and even larger golden parachutes. This isn’t me being liberal, this is me being pissed.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 15

  35. john bly says:

    There is no reason we cannot pursue alternative energy sources and reduce our dependence on foreign oil by allowing some offshore drilling. From an engineering perspective, additional safeguards as to where to drill off our coast would be relatively easy to implement in order to protect our fisheries and coastline. Time to become more self sufficient and stop relying on the Middle East for our oil.

    Thumb up 22 Thumb down 15

  36. Former fisherman says:

    Since the enlargement of the preserve will effectively kill the last remaining remnants of the fishing industry, it won’t make much difference. Drill now and then in ANWAR and everywehere else we have oil. Then we can make a difference.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 10

  37. Steve Klausner says:

    The price of oil is not market driven. During the latest run up in prices there was a world wide glut in oil. Every tanker and every tank was filled. Obama threaten to stabilizes prices by releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve but there was no place to release it to.

    In this freak oil market increased domestic production will not lower prices. During the recent spike, did the ayatollahs of Texan light crud, out some patriotic zeal hold down prices? Of course not. They profited well and at their nation’s expense. It’s the same for alternative fuels. The price of ethanol, and for that matter now the price of corn, is tied to the price of oil.

    What could work is good is good old fashion Nixon style price controls on all oil produced from federally leased land. We should also impose customs duties on imported oil. With the price of oil swinging by 30% a few dollars a barrel customs will not affect us at the pump any more than the excise tax on oil collected by Texas and Alaska.

    Drill baby drill, not steal baby steal.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  38. Jon Bixler says:

    I tend to agree with Victor… drilling off our coast may reduce the price of crude, but I have serious doubts that we’ll see any of that savings at the pump.

    Far better to focus on solving the problem of extracting natural gas without polluting the groundwater. The argument for domestic drilling would then become moot.

    To answer your question of “why wouldn’t we drill”… you have a short memory, sir. What happened in the Gulf of Mexico can surely happen here as well. There is no energy crises worth risking the destruction of the north coast.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 10

  39. home girl says:

    Do we never learn? Drilling over a major earthquake fault. What fools these mortals be.
    Why do oil companies keep advertising about being clean and natural and their intent to develop alternate energy sources yet continue to drill. baby, drill?

    Eliminate all subsidies to oil and coal companies, spend the money on solar and wind energy development. That, too, brings new jobs.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 14

  40. Pearl Alquileres says:

    Anyone who voted no based on the last line of the story: “that its impact on oil prices would be insignificant.” apparently has no clue about history or how the international oil market works.
    This tired old excuse for remaining at the mercy of OPEC is shortsighted at best.
    In 1996 Bill Clinton vetoed a bill to drill in ANWR saying that it would have no affect on gas prices because it would take 10 years to ever bring that oil to market.
    Well, that was 15 years ago (Thanks Bill!) and people are still clinging to and falling for that same old excuse.
    This isn’t “rocket science” folks! This isn’t some multi-dimensional, complex issue. It’s as “black & white” as it gets.
    Inject more oil into the markets and prices go down!
    If we were tapping domestic reserves today we would have the power to crank up domestic production when ever OPEC decided to decrease theirs and THEN we would have control over oil prices.

    But no, we’re going to build WINDMILLS and hope the wind doesn’t stop EVEN THOUGH the same people pushing that “technology” are busy screaming “CLIMATE CHANGE”!
    Really? The “climate is changing”? is getting more WINDY or LESS WINDY? …idiots!
    Or we’ll put all our eggs in the Solar basket & hope for sunny days even though “the climate is changing”! Is it getting sunnier or stormier?
    Guess it depends on who you ask.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 16

  41. Reality Check says:

    I’d be more supportive of Thompson and Woolsey if they favored leaving the decision to the communities effected. But since they basically believe most everything should be run from Washington, this is what happens when political control changes.

    And, yes, it’s probably true that a few oil wells off the coast won’t affect the price much. That’s also true of almost any single orchard, farm, or factory.

    I guess the oft-quoted slogan of environmentalists in support of self-sufficiency is, well, just a slogan.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 11

  42. On To Truth & Justice says:

    Think of the taxes that would result from oil drilling off the Sonoma Coast! Why wouldn’t we drill? A balance budget, employment and reducing foreign oil dependence, what a deal!

    Ban Thompson and Woolsey, start the drilling and let the oil flow. If you like $6.00 plus a gallon for gas you probably will oppose the driling measures. But those of us who drive are tired of the $90 to $100 dollars it costs to fill up and get to work and take the kids to school.

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 32

  43. Anyone who voted yes apparently did not comprehend the last line of the story: “that its impact on oil prices would be insignificant.” The lost to Sonoma County in tourist revenue would surely at least equal any revenue gain from drilling, Bodega Bay would become an ugly, noisy base station for the operation, and the highways to and from would be clogged with heavy equipment for the construction and maintenance. And given our heavy seas and severe winters, the chances of a major spill that would kill the fishing industry are extremely high. Anyone who favors this either is just not thinking for themselves but rather repeating other peoples’ tired arguments, or their heart and soul have atrophied from disuse.

    Thumb up 35 Thumb down 26

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