SACRAMENTO — In graphic terms, Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) and half a dozen Democrats from coastal districts Thursday blasted the Bush Administration's plan for more offshore oil drilling and threatened to mount an initiative drive to stop it.
Brown said anybody--including Gov. George Deukmejian--who supports expanded drilling is "rather dumb to be advocating it."
But the harshest criticism came from Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, a Democrat from South San Francisco. She accused Bush of portraying himself as an environmentalist during his quest for the presidency, only to flip-flop after taking office in January.
"George Bush was our dutiful suitor when he was campaigning for election," Speier said. "Now he has rebuked us without even a kiss, and he has brought in his thugs to rape us."
Moratorium Proposal Criticized
Speier was referring to speeches Tuesday by Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan Jr. and Energy Secretary James D. Watkins at a meeting of Western governors hosted by Deukmejian in Long Beach. The two Cabinet members contended that offshore oil drilling is the only way America can become energy self-sufficient. And they criticized congressional efforts to place a moratorium on new offshore operations.