Foes speak out against offshore oil proposal |

Foes speak out against offshore oil proposal

SANTA MONICA ” A group of environmental leaders have criticized a proposal by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that could bring the state $1.8 billion by allowing the first new oil drilling off California’s coast in more than 40 years.

The proposal would revive a project on the Santa Barbara coast that was rejected by the State Lands Commission in January.

The legislation would give the Department of Finance the ability to reconsider the proposal. The Finance Department’s representative on the commission was the lone vote in support of the drilling project.

Opponents who spoke out Wednesday in Santa Monica included Sierra Club California and Environment Now. Joel Reynolds, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, says the proposal would be an end-run around the Lands Commission.

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