July 21, 2009
Patrick Creighton, 202.870.0850
Laura Henderson, 202.621.2951

California Drilling: Progress or Economic Self Destruction?

Efforts to expand offshore production come with Sacramento’s heavy hand, and a wink and a nod from the enviros

Washington, DC – Thomas J. Pyle, President of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), issued the following statement today regarding California’s ongoing budget negotiations to meet the state’s 26 billion dollar financial shortfall, which includes responsible domestic energy development off Santa Barbara’s coast:

“It took more than 40 years, double digit state unemployment, the worst budget crisis in the state’s history, and a laundry list of concessions, handouts, and payoffs, but California is finally ending its irrational ban on responsible energy production off Santa Barbara’s coast.

“While some may consider this progress, the devil is always in the details. Under this so called ‘deal,’ negotiated by several out-of-the-mainstream organizations, Plains Exploration and Production (PXP) will be permitted to drill 17 wells from an existing platform in federal waters, tapping oil and gas reserves beneath an existing lease in state waters.

“In return, PXP must shut down the platform by 2022, dismantle three others, close two processing plants, donate 4,000 acres of land for a state park, and buy $1.5 million dollars worth of buses for Santa Barbara County. This, in my view, sounds more like a shakedown than progress. Either way, this ‘deal’ speaks directly to why California is facing a $26 billion dollar budget deficit.”

NOTE: Just last week, IER was joined by more than a dozen other consumer-focused and pro-energy groups in calling on the president to increase domestic energy exploration and production offshore. Click HERE to view this letter.

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


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