Reflecting the general feeling of the community, the Orange County Board of Supervisors has adopted a resolution opposing drilling for offshore oil and gas in federal waters off Orange County.
The resolution was presented last Wednesday to a presidential task force workshop that was in Los Angeles gathering local input on offshore oil development. It also specifically opposes the proposed Lease Sale 95, which would open to oil company prospecting the coastal waters from Santa Barbara to Mexico. The county board and other coastal jurisdictions believe the impacts and risks associated with the proposed offshore oil and gas drilling "significantly outweigh the limited benefits." Facts give their argument weight.
Offshore drilling will increase air pollution for the sake of making available amounts of oil that the nation would consume in 76 hours. There are other concerns, like oil spills and the movement of highly toxic byproducts on the county roads.
The risks are real and must be seriously weighed by the task force created by President Bush to evaluate the impact the granting of the proposed drilling leases would have on the sensitive coastal environment. A risk that we do not think is real is raised by a Virginia-based consultant with respect to Orange County tourism.