Oil Drilling

Schwarzenegger's MLPA: Marine Life Guardians or Corporate Privateers?

By Dan Bacher

Tom Stienstra, outdoor columnist for the S.F. Chronicle, recently pointed out the absurdity of many of the people that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently appointed to the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) for the North Coast by listing the appointees and their "qualifications." 

"Sometimes people take issue with political appointments to committees charged with overseeing the state's conservation management," said Stienstra in his column on November 29. "The Department of Fish and Game provided this list of committee members who will implement the Marine Life Protection Act for the Northern California coast. 

Fast Tracking My Bill to Increase Higher Education Funding

By Assemblymember Alberto Torrico

While California is preparing to go into special session next month to consider legislation to help it receive millions in federal Race to the Top Kindergarten-12 education funds, I'm asking the state to also fast track my bill to provide the community colleges and public universities with more than $1.3 billion.

As we have witnessed from the thousands of students, faculty and staff who marched and protested last week, higher education funding is an urgent matter that demands our action. The Race to the Top will lead to a dead end if we deny California’s high school graduates a chance to pursue a higher education in our own state universities and community colleges.

California's New Deal

By Robert Cruickshank

California never had a New Deal. While California voted for FDR in 1932 (and for each of his three reelection bids), state politics were dominated by right-wing factions in both the Republican and Democratic parties for much of the era. In 1934, when Upton Sinclair won the Democratic nomination on a socialist platform called End Poverty In California, or EPIC, he was unable to overcome a sophisticated campaign machine built by conservative Republican Frank Merriam, which included political ads created by movie studios and shown in cinemas statewide before the election. (A centrist Democrat, Raymond Haight, also ran in the 3-way contest, costing Sinclair anti-conservative votes.)

What Ails California? What Doesn’t?

Schrag.gifBy Peter Schrag
California Progress Report

When it comes to diagnosing, and prescribing remedies for, the state’s fiscal and governmental problems, last week was clinic week in California.

On Thursday, the legislature’s grandly named Select Committee on Improving State Government heard a panel of incumbent and retired politicians, academics and fiscal experts try to untangle the state’s convoluted problems.

On Friday, a similar but larger group of doctors and would-be doctors (including, in the interest of full disclosure, this writer) were gathered at UC Berkeley at a conference simply entitled “What Ails California?”

California Coast Spared by Vote of Assembly

David M Greenwald.jpgby David M. Greenwald
California Progress Report

By a vote of 43-28, the California Assembly defeated a proposal that would have allowed the first first new oil drilling lease in California State waters since the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill.

“The Governor made Santa Barbara a target for new oil drilling. I am proud that we rejected this insidious proposal,” said Assemblymember Pedro Nava. “The plan would have unraveled critical environmental protections, put the coast at risk, and set a terrible precedent while the federal government is considering their 5 year drilling plan for the outer continental shelf.”

53 Environmental Groups Oppose Use of Budget Process To Approve New Offshore Oil Drilling Project


On July 22 and 23, 53 leading California environmental organizations sent letters to Governor Schwarzenegger to express their united opposition to the reported budget deal that would overturn the recent decision by the independent State Lands Commission denying the Tranquillon Ridge project proposal based on legitimate substantive reasons including concerns over a lack of enforceability. This proposal, if approved, will represent the first new offshore oil lease in California waters in over 40 years, and a major reversal of the Governor’s past assurances that there would be no new oil drilling off California’s coast. Please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpdegV6g1WY

Assembly Coastal Caucus Opposes Offshore Oil Drilling


Members of the Assembly Coastal Caucus have written a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger voicing their opposition to the budget proposal that would allow the first new offshore drilling in California waters since the disastrous Santa Barbara Oil Spill in 1969.

Oil and Tobacco Taxes: In Search of a More Moral State Budget

picdan.jpgBy Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Governor Invokes Drill Baby Drill To Save Our Economy

Brian-Leubitz.jpgBy Brian Leubitz
Founder and Publisher

California was, once upon a time, the leader in offshore drilling. In fact, the first submerged oil wells was in the Santa Barbara Channel. Public acceptance can change rapidly when you spill 200,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean. And change it did.

Democrats Oppose Proposed Oil Lease off the Santa Barbara Coast

David M Greenwald.jpgby David M. Greenwald
California Progress Report

Environmental leaders on Tuesday testified before the Budget Conference Committee in opposition to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to open up California’s coast to new offshore oil drilling through the State Budget.

The Governor seeks to approve a 15-year lease for new oil and gas drilling in state waters off the Santa Barbara Coast by Plains Exploration and Production Company (PXP). After thoughtful and public review, the State Lands Commission’s (SLC) rejected this proposed project in January. The project, known as the “Tranquillon Ridge Project,” was defeated on a 2 to 1 vote with the alternate for Mike Genest, Director of the Department of Finance, the lone AYE vote.