WatchSonoma Watch

No oil rigs for North Coast, despite Obama speech

Richard Charter (PD FILE)


Environmentalists scrambled Wednesday to determine if President Obama’s reference to offshore oil drilling in his State of the Union speech posed a new prospect for oil rigs along the North Coast.

It didn’t, but activists said the reference underscores the need to achieve permanent protection from oil and gas drilling for the rugged coast that supports the region’s fishing and tourism industries.

“Our coast has become a political football — and we are in overtime,” said Richard Charter of Bodega Bay, a veteran anti-drilling advocate.

Obama’s statement that he will open “more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources” essentially affirmed the Department of Interior’s five-year oil and gas leasing program announced in November.

The plan calls for 15 potential lease sales in 2012-17 period, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico and three off the coast of Alaska.

The Pacific Coast was not included, the plan said, in deference to a 2006 agreement by the governors of California, Oregon and Washington opposing energy development off their coasts.

But after 2017, “all bets are off for California,” said Charter, a senior fellow with The Ocean Foundation, a nonprofit environmental group.

The oil industry, in an effort to rebound from the gulf oil spill of 2010, has mounted an aggressive promotional campaign featuring posters on Washington, D.C. subway cars and on television, Charter said.

A bill by Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s, D-Petaluma, to double the size of two marine sanctuaries would permanently ban drilling off the Sonoma coast and up to Point Arena in Mendocino County.

“It’s my highest priority,” said Woolsey, who is retiring this year. “It just has to happen.”

Woolsey said she was surprised by Obama’s comment, and said it amplifies the Interior Department’s plan.

In his speech, Obama noted that U.S. crude oil production was “the highest that it’s been in eight years” and that reliance on foreign oil was the lowest in 16 years.

Offshore oil production increased by more than one-third, from 446 million barrels in 2008 to more than 600 million barrels in 2010, the Interior Department said.

By excluding California, the five-year lease plan left an estimated 10.5 billion barrels of oil “off limits to U.S. customers,” said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association.

Dependence on foreign oil is down partly because the recession reduced oil consumption, she said.

Obama’s recognition of the benefits of a secure oil supply “is a little bit at odds” with his decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline bringing Canadian crude oil into the U.S., Reheis-Boyd said.


19 Responses to “No oil rigs for North Coast, despite Obama speech”

  1. Canthisbe says:

    Calling 911 –


    “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you”

    ― Joseph Heller

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  2. Social Dis-Ease says:

    To Canthisbe:
    liked your post.

    There are significant ‘events’ coming our way.

    Not the least of which will be the collapse of the dollar.

    It would be the perfect time to remember what the word community means again.

    Not that collective, ‘greater good’, ‘social equity’ crap, anything with an ‘ism’ at the end of it.

    I’m talking about real accountable, look out for each other community.

    Time to put our energy into what is real.
    What is really going on in our Country and our County.
    Goods and resources that are real.
    Information that is real.

    As tens of thousands of the smartest minds on the subject have documentd and signed…
    man’s activities are not causing the atmosphere to warm.

    IT is not real.

    It was contrived as an instrument of our oppression

    This is just more banter, more charade to create an illusion of actual concern.

    Like most all the media feeds us…fluff.

    This is placated propaganda.

    These people don’t care about the environment or ‘green’.

    This story is about perpetuating more scarcity, morphing the principal of supply and demand to their interest.

    They like to morph everything.

    Right now, it’s looking more like a mutation of EVERYTHING important to us,
    that’s the whole idea.

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  3. Calling 911 mental health unit says:

    “Paging Dr. Freud…”
    Some of the Agenda 21 conspiracy-mongers are so far over the top that one would have to conclude that there are mental health issues. This is way beyond normal politics.I would recommend treatment and meds for a few of them. These folks are not right in the head.

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  4. Canthisbe says:

    “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)
    Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years”
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2093264/Forget-global-warming–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html#ixzz1ktGnzQtK

    The whole “global warming” fraud was developed to portray carbon as the problem so that the UN / government cabal could try to tax carbon. Just about everything is or runs on carbon or gives off carbon. If you can tax carbon, you can tax everything. If you can tax everything, you can control or destroy everything. Can you imagine that some people would want to be able to control everything or destroy anything? Some evil politicians might try to use that power to pump millions of $$ into solar power and car battery companies owned by the people that fund their campaigns.

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  5. Skippy says:

    The only thing “progressive” about the embryonic pseudo-green energy agenda is the endless bankruptcies of failed alt. energy companies.
    They are making grand progress through billions of wasted borrowed tax dollars.
    How many billions must we waste on unicorn dreams and patchouli fantasies before we recognize the green energy industry as a lucrative scam based on a laughable hoax?
    It will be easy to recognize the point at which alt. energy is viable:
    Real energy companies(like Chevron, BP, etc.)will be profiting from the sale of it.
    Until then, it is a colossal waste of scant resources. We need no more $500,000,000 Solyndra/Obama ripoffs.
    Big Govt. needs to get out of the way of actual energy providers like Oil companies and let them increase supply and lower prices.
    Drill here; drill now; drill deep.

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  6. The Oracle says:

    It’s time for progressives to take meaningful energy positions. It’s not enough to be against petroleum oil and call for wind and solar. Their own failures put officials in an awkward position, juggling vaguely defined, primarily negative progressive values and their responsibility to govern. Solar and wind research is good. But it’s time for progressives to call for nuclear research too. We should approach fusion cautiously, but progressively.

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  7. Canthisbe says:

    “Gas and oil are miracle fuels and it is very hard to find alternate energies at comparable costs and reliability. And as a rule, the green class of environmental elites usually uses more fossil fuels per capita than do the muscular classes who mine and drill them out of the ground — and who do not jet, drive, or live in the comparable fashion of their critics”.

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  8. Social Dis-Ease says:

    There’s enough of everything;
    Water, food, land, currency and oil.
    The same dark cabal behind our wars, our ‘crashes’, cancers, and everything else wrong with our world.
    They contrive, engineer and perpetuate shortages and lack.

    They hord everything.
    Technology, knowledge, land, our currency, gold, oil everything.

    Again, they have us bickering over their imposed ‘problems’.

    We don’t need to compromise our coastlines.

    We are talking about individuals that would make you sick so they can profit from the wrong cure.

    We’re talking about a cabal so dark they would destroy dams, let mountain water run to the ocean, devastate ranchers and farmers and our food supply over some ‘green guise’.

    We are talking about an evil that is currently poisoning our water and food supply.

    Spraying everything with tons of toxins from jets.

    They’ve horded technology that would negate our need for oil.

    They contrive problems; peak oil, ‘global warming’, crisis.
    All for a landscape of their profit, control and oppression.

    Our public officials help ensure their control over OUR community through our ICLEI membership.

    The whole framework of the article is based on a flawed, false paradigm.

    How long will humanity continue to comply?

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  9. Lets be Rreasonable says:

    “Off shore drilling is safe” – seriously!? Boy is your memory short…

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  10. Canthisbe says:

    Oil is so close to the surface off of California that the equivalent of a small oil spill bubbles up off of Santa Barbara each day and lands on its beaches and waterfowl.
    Wouldn’t it make more sense to capture that oil through drilling and use it to power our trains?

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  11. NoQuarters says:

    I wonder why were not hearing about or why Obama didn’t speak of it in his state of the union
    Obama gives Brazil 2.5 Billion of tax payers money for off shore oil exploratin and now 65% of that oil from brazil is bound for China

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  12. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    The oil drilled in this country is put on the open WORLD market and sold. The purpose of the pipeline was to make sure it could be sent efficiently to port so this could happen. It doesn’t mean that Canadian oil would be bought by American consumers. It doesn’t mean that oil we currently drill will stay in this country or lower prices if we drill more. If we drill off the coast of California, the same thing would happen. It would go on the open market (hey “free” market people, you should be overjoyed) and not necessarily be distributed in California or even drop the price of oil in this state. California is the ONLY state in the union that does not charge an oil extraction tax on the oil corporations that operate here. All other oil producing states, INCLUDING TEXAS, do and yet we pay more for our gas than most other states. These companies that drill here need to pay this tax and pay their fair share of the infrastructure the oil companies depend on for their operations
    It won’t matter if we drill off the coast in terms of the cost of gas. It won’t change for us AT ALL. So we might as well keep our coast pristine to encourage people from all over the world to come and enjoy beautiful California. This is money for California. With the dropping value of the dollar people from other countries will see us as a bargain vacation and it will create more jobs.

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  13. Follower says:

    Another “Watch the Birdie”…
    We wouldn’t NEED Canadian oil if we were allowed to tap our own American resources.

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  14. zuma says:

    Yeah, California is special! Other states have to have oil wells along their coast but not California!

    Other states have to pay back the money the fed loans them to support their unemployed, but not California. It is a gift from other states because our state has been so mismanaged by our govt it is incapable of paying back that money.

    Other states are required to abide by the laws and Constitution, but California doesnt know what the Constitution means and precedent is meaningless here. Thus the courts of California, state and federal are overturned more than all other states combined.

    California is broke and cant educate its children, so we have lots of undeducated and misinformed protestors like the anti drilling advocates that drove up the price of oil to what it is today in this country.

    California has to realize it is one of 50 states and deserves nothing more or less than those other states. In fact, it has been a leach of late to those other states and citizens. Maybe oil wells will allow it to support itself. Wouldnt that be a novelty!

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  15. RAW says:

    At the other end of the country, Americans are not allowed to drill off Florida’s coast, but Cuba, China and a few others moved right to the edge of our national waters and have drilled around Florida, laughing at our restrictive policies while they rip off we could be using. They laugh and we financially damage our own country.

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  16. RAW says:

    Southern California has oil rigs off the coast for decades. I have seen them. They are oil rigs, nothing more. There are many who would allow our country and state to fall further into 3rd world status while sitting on oil reserves that rival Saudi Arabia. I truly hope we can cure enough of their green insanity to drill before it is too late. Small reminder, there are no alternatives to gasoline at this time. Solar is not yet efficient enough to replace fossil fuels. Solyndra was financial disaster wake up call. Drill now and drill deep. Save our state, maybe.

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  17. I Hate To Be the One to Tell You says:

    Without oil this carbon based ecomomy and the economy of the world would slam to a halt quickly. These wind and solar dreamers are living in a fantasy.

    Oil made possible our standard of living. It freed us to travel, to have a thriving economy, to move into the technological world we know.

    Off shore drilling is safe and Northern California could see the economy grow with jobs and wealth. A few lawyers and off the wall environmentalists want all of this stopped. They are in the minority in this country. Most people want to see the economy grow and have a future for their children. They do not want to see the standard of living fall and our economy depressed.

    Drilling will provide the growth we all (well, almost all) of us want and need. The future is not putting our heads in the sand and wishing solar and wind will solve our energy problem.

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  18. Juvenal says:

    Canada is sitting on proven reserves greater than those in the Mideast. We don’t have to shoot anyone to obtain it; nor do we have to endanger the ocean to transport it. All that is necessary is a pipeline.

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  19. Canthisbe says:

    Don’t worry. We’ll never see oil wells drilled anywhere as long as Obama is president. He has stated that he wants to gasoline at about $7 a gallon and he’s hard at work at achieving that goal. Read his past comments. All empty rhetoric about opening anywhere for oil production, except Brazil and letting China drill of the south coast of Florida in the US – Cuba area under a deal with Cuba.

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