PXP drilling project in trouble
Plains Exploration & Production Co.’s plans to drill for oil off the Santa Barbara coast could be dead in the water after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger withdrew his support for the plan.
Schwarzenegger’s change of heart was promoted by the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Bloomberg News reported.
Schwarzenegger appointees or allies make up two-thirds of the State Lands Commission, which has final say over the project. The commission has rejected it once, but Plains is moving forward with a second application.
Many environmental groups, including some of the chief anti-drilling voices on the South Coast, have pledged support for Plains’ Tranquillon Ridge project. In exchange for permission to expand its drilling there, Plains has agreed to shut down three of its other platforms in nine years and the fourth on in 14 years.
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