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Das Williams' 'desperate ploy'

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Santa Barbara City Councilman Das Williams, running in a tough campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 35th Assembly District, issued a press release today calling for a moratorium on offshore drilling. Under ordinary circumstances, a Santa Barbara politician calling for an oil-drilling moratorium would be about as newsworthy as a Las Vegas politician speaking out against a proposal to ban casino gambling. But these aren't ordinary circumstances.

It's evident that Williams, in the wake of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, finds himself on the wrong side, politically, of the great debate in Santa Barbara over the proposed Tranquillon Ridge drilling project. To shorten and simplify a long story, Williams supports a deal struck between the PXP oil company and Santa Barbara environmental groups that would allow PXP to drill into state waters from its existing federal platform in exchange for promising to shut down all its drilling activities in 14 years. His opponent, coastal advocate Susan Jordan, has led the opposition to the PXP proposal.

Given the horror of the widening oil spill in the Gulf, don't expect Democratic voters in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to have much sympathy for anything having to do with offshore oil drilling these days. They are not likely to take the time to understand the complexities and nuances of the proposed PXP deal, which Williams and other supporters back because they believe it will hasten the eventual end of drilling in the Santa Barbara Channel.

It didn't take long for Jordan to respond to Williams' press release. She called it a "desperate ploy" on the part of her opponent. "It's unclear to me," Jordan said, "how Das can call for a moratorium on new offshore oil leasing while he continues to support the PXP deal."

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3 Comments

Timm, as you know, Susan opposed it from the beginning because she dug into the details and discovered what the State Lands Commission and the Attorney General's office has verified not once, but twice -- the purported benefits of the deal are unenforceable. Nothing could legally be shut down, according to State Lands staff.

The deal would instead allow the first new oil drilling in state waters since the 1969 oil spill. This is just a few miles offshore. The Deepwater Horizon was 40 miles offshore. The drilling into the Tranquillon Ridge field would be greatly increased with massive throughput.

Das entered the race to specifically challenge Susan on this issue.

Now Boxer and Feinstein are calling for a moratorium in federal waters as well. Hopefully they will be successful. Ultimately we need to get serious about getting rid of our dependence on highly polluting fossil fuels. They are a finite resource. I am just sorry it took a tragedy to wake us up.

Why won't Das simply admit he was wrong then and is wrong now about this PXP oil deal?

Would that be because he then would have to admit he has no reason any more to be in this election?

I'm 5'7 and weigh 142,Must i obtain a little as well as moderate? dimensions just for this jersey

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95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com
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  • Pat: Why won't Das simply admit he was wrong then and read more
  • Marie: Timm, as you know, Susan opposed it from the beginning read more