Reporting from Santa Barbara — An effort by a coalition of Santa Barbara environmental groups to strike a deal with a Texas oil company was revived Wednesday, kicking off another round in the battle over how to confront pressure to drill for oil off the California coast.
Activists with the Environmental Defense Center, a Central Coast advocacy group, announced that they have reworked some of the most controversial elements of a 2008 agreement struck with Houston-based Plains Exploration & Production Co.
FOR THE RECORD:
The headline on an earlier version of this article said new platforms would be allowed under the revived deal. They would not be.
They said they hope the move will defuse opposition that has so far stymied the deal, which would permit new drilling off the Santa Barbara coast in exchange for limits on future oil operations.
"Without this agreement, these platforms can and will continue to operate indefinitely," Linda Krop, chief counsel for the Environmental Defense Center, said at a news conference on a Santa Barbara bluff overlooking platforms. She was accompanied by other environmental activists, at least two local officials and Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara).
At least one opponent remained unconvinced.
"Under this proposal, Santa Barbara, Calif., would be the only location on the entire Western seaboard that would permit new drilling in state waters, and that's nothing to be proud of," said Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), a longtime critic of the plan. "What they have done is they have added more pages to the document and a bit more elegant language, but it's still a flawed proposal."