Oljeborrning utanför Kalifornien

Tack vare de kraftigt höjda oljepriserna har flera amerikanska oljebolag nu börjat planera nya oljeborrningar utefter den kaliforniska kusten. Oljeborrning har varit stoppad där sedan det stora oljespillet utanför Santa Barbara år 1969. De nya oljeborrningarna har upprört miljögrupper i Kalifornien och hotar den unika kaliforniska kustekologin.

Däremot verkar få amerikaner vara intresserade av att köra mindre och köpa färre SUVn. Litet mer positivt så säljs det fler och fler hybrida bilar. Det verkar som om alla republikaner köper SUVn och alla demokrater köper hybrida bilar. Los Angeles Times har mer om de nya oljeborrningarna

“We’re sacrificing pristine areas with the disingenuous claim that it will relieve high gas prices tomorrow, and that’s just not true,” said David Newman, spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of 10 environmental organizations that recently sued the Bush administration for recommending the extension of 36 leases of undeveloped tracts off the California coast.

Since the nation’s first offshore well was drilled in 1896 from a wooden pier at Summerland, just south of Santa Barbara, the waters off the state’s southern half have produced a steady stream of hydrocarbons — and controversy.

Californians’ sensitivity was heightened by the 1969 oil well blowout off Santa Barbara and resulting oil spill that fouled Southern California beaches.

About half a dozen companies are extracting oil and natural gas from state and federal waters from Huntington Beach to San Luis Obispo. In 2004, they pumped about 43 million barrels of oil and 47 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or about 16% of California’s oil production and nearly 14% of its natural gas production.

With prices high and output on the decline in recent years, companies are investing in new wells or reworking old ones. Most are scrappy independents that bought the properties from big-name oil corporations when oil prices were much lower and profits from the region’s thick oil were elusive.