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When BIG Green Isn't Enough - Go For The Gold, Black Gold
by Tomas DiFiore
Thursday Sep 10th, 2009 10:19 AM
“No Fishing" areas, such as the MLPA-Initiative closures currently being implemented are a solution looking for a problem. Yet they are promoted by the Ocean Conservancy, and supported by the Sierra Club, 2 groups recently in support of the PXP Tranquillon Ridge Oil and LNG "Deal" offshore at Santa Barbara. Gordon Moore of the Moore Foundation himself delineates the gap between the 'Political' Donation Reserves & Investment Bottom Lines (DRIBL) of the private foundations (with billions of dollars readily available) and the reality of Ecosystem Boundaries Of Influence (BOI).
Thursday 09/10/09
When BIG Green Isn't Enough - Go For The Gold, Black Gold:
Sierra Club California and Ocean Conservancy Support Plan to Drill
Offshore at Tranquillon Ridge While Supporting MLPA-I Fishing Closures

Before the late January 2009 decision by The State Lands Commission denying the (PXP)Tranquillon Ridge Project off the coast of Santa Barbara - both the Sierra Club California and the Ocean Conservancy were listed in a press release dated 012609 as supporting an agreement to defy 40 years of true grassroots coastal protection against offshore oil.

For Immediate Release January 27, 2009
Dear Chairman Garamendi and Commissioners: We have a dream....

Even GOO! - the original Get Oil Out! group signed on to the deal which was brokered by the (PXP) Plains Exploration Company and the (EDC) Environmental Defense Center and the Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara County.

There was dissent within ranks of course. The old guard of GOO! now retired and in their eighties, never gave their support to the slick deal. “I understand what they’re doing,” Bottoms said of GOO and the EDC’s decision to back the project. “As far as they’re concerned, that’s their way to get around Goliath… [But they’re] bowing to them. You’re not saying we don’t want this stuff anymore ... global warming, will only worsen so long as the world is reliant on oil. Why kill ourselves? I’m totally against the use of oil. The worst thing we ever did was discover oil.”
Actually the original Press Release stated ...(deal to end) Offshore Oil Drilling.

On the morning of Jan. 28, 1969, Bud Bottoms was an art director for a think tank in Santa Barbara. Bottoms, now 81, recalled getting a phone call at work from his friend and then Santa Barbara News-Press reporter Dick Smith, who had been flying over Platform A and spotted oil bubbling to the surface. “I remember I yelled out - We've got to get oil out.”

And after the State Lands Commission Report, Susan Jordan, longtime advocate for coastal protection, broke with her longtime allies at EDC and opposed the PXP deal. “They’re giving special treatment to this project. The most important issue is, they’re not following existing legal process and taking away existing legal protections that govern offshore projects.”

Assemblymember Pedro Nava who represents Santa Barbara in the legislature said: “The plan would have unraveled critical environmental protections, put the coast at risk, and set a terrible precedent while the federal government is considering their 5 year drilling plan for the outer continental shelf.”

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi stated: “The Governor just put California's coastline up for sale when he had other options that don't put our natural resources at risk. He refused to approve a plan to tax oil companies that now extract oil in California to fund health care services, children's programs and education. California is the only oil producing state without an oil severance tax, and it would generate $1.2 billion dollars annually for our state. Instead, Big Oil has offered to California $100 million dollars to seduce the state into granting the first new oil drilling lease in California since the Santa Barbara oil spill 41 years ago. The loan must be repaid by forgiving future royalty payments to California.”

Willie Pelote, California Political & Legislative Director, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees: “If the Governor really wants to generate more revenues he should charge oil companies for extraction - they do in Texas, Alaska, and other oil producing states.”

The State Lands Commission, made up of the lieutenant governor, the state controller and the director of the Department of Finance, has authority over mineral leases in state tidelands areas, which extend three miles offshore. That authority once rested with the finance director, but lawmakers established the commission in 1938 in the wake of a scandal over the finance director’s too-cozy relationship with the Standard Oil Co.

Now it's 70 years later:
Chief Deputy Finance Director Thomas Sheehy said (of the Tranquillon Ridge plan) “It’s time to look for win-win opportunities.” Replied Controller John Chiang: “I’m concerned we may be one win short of a win-win. There is tremendous uncertainty as to environmental benefits.” Sheehy then advised the commission that it was created by statute and its authority can be taken away by a vote of the Legislature. “That power can be altered, changed, truncated or terminated at any time.”

After the State Lands Commission denial, Michael Endicott of Sierra Club California said, “We do not see how the Governor’s reversal on offshore oil drilling can really be in the best interest of the state...."

On July 22 and 23, 2009 - 53 leading California environmental organizations sent letters to Governor Schwarzenegger to express their united opposition to the 'reported budget deal' that would overturn the recent decision by the independent State Lands Commission denying the Tranquillon Ridge project proposal based on legitimate substantive reasons including concerns over a lack of enforceability. “This proposal, if approved, will represent the first new offshore oil lease in California waters in over 40 years, and a major reversal of the Governor’s past assurances that there would be no new oil drilling off California’s coast." Visit:

And even though the Tranquillon Ridge sweetheart deal for one oil company was negotiated behind closed doors, without any legislative hearings to allow public comment by Big Green, it's all good and well that subsequently in the letter of united opposition, the Oil Severance Tax on extraction was mentioned. "Instead, we ask the Governor, and legislative leaders to withdraw this proposal and replace it with a better alternative, the severance tax. The severance tax would generate more revenue for the state. The PXP proposal would only generate with certainty a single $100 million payment that is really just an advance on royalties which would be credited to PXP’s benefit, by reducing future royalty payments.
An Oil Severance Tax would raise up to 8 times more on an annual basis."

(ed) That should have been the discussion all along.

What is missing is a definitive NO NEW OIL Extraction, permits or leases.

Increases in Ocean acidification are considered to be a direct result of the over abundance of anthropogenic Co2 (generation). Big Green in general supports Cap and Trade Carbon Credits. How about a Homeless Bank of Carbon, HoBaCa?

Homeless folk, must have the smallest individual and collective carbon footprint. Some suit and tie entrepreneur could market these credits based on a per unit & collective economic advantage carbon footprint model leveraged by (the) time spent living on the streets and local area or regional demographics. The profits generated could support a community shelter and outreach infra-structure (purchase and/or management) and programs.

So who benefits from new oil and LNG fields offshore in plans being developed. We could start with company portfolios of businesses that can afford "Cap and Trade" pollution credits. Also the plastics industry (LNG nurdles), and the petroleum fertilizer industry (Nitrogen pellets, prings). Much of the latter are transported to large nations by ADM and Cargill paid for through federal assistance mechanisms and global funding (IMF, World Bank). Most of the fertilizer pellets are shipped overseas. 15 countries account for 84% of global production.

And the "Green Revolution" which crashed family and community farms globally (from the midwest to India) has a new hue - it's now called the "Blue Revolution" a.k.a. Aquaculture or Mariculture. Alongside these Marine Bio-Tech Protected Areas, leases wil be considered for sea floor mining of minerals, microbial organisms, and energy efficient bacteria.

Local Economy, Local Food Resources, Localization:

“No Fishing" areas, such as the MLPA-Initiative closures currently being implemented are a solution looking for a problem. Yet they are promoted by the Ocean Conservancy, and supported by the Sierra Club. The following quotes from Gordon Moore himself delineate the gap between the 'Political' Donation Reserves & Investment Bottom Lines (DRIBL) of the private foundations (with billions of dollars available) and the reality of Ecosystem Boundaries Of Influence (BOI).

Patented Progress – Carbon Forests and Paper Credits

“The Moore Foundation wants to preserve the pristine salmon systems in the vast north Pacific. To this end, it has made grants to several groups in British Columbia that protect the Haida Gwaii archipelago and the Great Bear rainforest, as well as to an Oregon based organization that concentrates on rivers in Russia through the Salmon Initiative.”

“In terms of salmon, we sponsored a meeting in Anchorage last summer and close to 300 people came. We used this process to bring people together to exchange ideas.”

Moore’s results-based philosophy meant the foundation decided not to take on the bigger problem of cleaning up salmon runs in the continental US. Even with a yearly grant budget of $225m, the foundation believed it could not have an impact when, “For us the value equation is not there,” he says. The Patient Pursuit Of Progress: Paul Sullivan February 24 2006

“We fund outcomes, not activities,” and the day-to-day supervision of the Moore Foundation is handled by Ed Penhoet, president since 2004. (just) DRIBL BOI

The Marine Conservation Initiative is working to promote approaches to marine
conservation and management that have the potential to transform management of the world’s oceans. Efforts are currently focused on two of the largest yet most clearly solvable threats: overfishing and habitat destruction. Key initiative strategies include: Advancing comprehensive “area-based management ...." from the Moore Foundation

Let's see, the MLPA-Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force is chaired by the CEO and Chief of Staff for the Western States Petroleum Association, Catherine Reheis-Boyd. Harbor Real Estate and Global Marina Development Interests and Waterfront Properties, along with Ocean Aquarium proponents make up the rest of the BRTF. So much fast paced history here....

And the RDARS Commission 2009 Report has an in-depth perspective.

Garbage Island: Plastics in the Making - Offshore Oil and LNG Extraction 2009
Between the Beach and the Horizon: An Ocean of Politics, Plastics, Noise, Oil, and Fertilizers

Just Drill - It's All Good! Concessions won the support of civic and environmental groups in Santa Barbara. Some of those groups continue to support the merits of the Tranquillon Ridge Oil & LNG project, but object to bypassing the State Lands Commission.

Linda Krop, an attorney for the Environmental Defense Center, had testified that the concerns raised by commissioners Garamendi and Controller John Chiang should be addressed and that a refined proposal should be brought back to the commission for reconsideration.
In January, Garamendi and Chiang cited concerns that the promise to dismantle oil facilities could be unenforceable.

“This would be the first new state offshore oil lease in 40 years,” said Susan Jordan of Santa Barbara, president of Coastal Protection Network. “I have never seen such a blatant power grab. You don’t have the right to unilaterally take control.”

Federal drilling permits from the Minerals Management Service don't include end dates.

Green groups supported PXP in its petition to use “slant drilling” from one of its four offshore platforms in federal waters to tap into an undersea oil field, the Tranquillon Ridge, that could yield as much as 200 million barrels of oil and 50 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

It is the first time in 39 years that Get Oil Out!, or GOO!, has supported oil drilling said Abe Powell, president of GOO!

First off, the original PXP deal was questionable at best.

California State Lands Commission nixes historic offshore oil lease despite support for the proposal from community members and environmental groups!

For Immediate Release: April 16, 2009

Assemblymember Nava Speaks at Hearing No More Oil & Gas Drilling Off the California Coast Assemblymember Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) delivered a strong message this morning at a hearing held by the U.S. Department of the Interior in San Francisco.
WHEREAS, The United States Department of the Interior, acting in President Bush's final days in office, on January 16, 2009, proposed opening up six million acres off of California's coast to drilling for oil and natural gas; and
WHEREAS, While the Obama Administration has put a hold on the Department of the Interior's January 16th plan in order to consider various possible impacts of offshore oil development as well as consider input from the public, the expansion of oil development in areas previously protected by the outer continental shelf moratorium remain under consideration; and
WHEREAS, Proposed drilling areas include areas off Humboldt and Mendocino Counties and from San Luis Obispo south to San Diego; and
WHEREAS, The further development of nonrenewable resources that degrade our air, water, and land is contrary to our state's goals of reducing emissions that cause global warming, improving air quality, and increasing the use of renewable energy; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature of the State of California respectfully requests that the Congress of the United States reinstate the federal offshore oil and gas leasing moratorium for the 2009 fiscal year and beyond; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature of the State of California respectfully opposes the proposed expansion of oil and gas drilling off the Pacific Coast

Assemblymember Nava and Assemblymember Noreen Evans (D-Sonoma) are the authors Assembly Joint Resolution 3, which requests that the Congress of the United States reinstate the federal offshore oil and gas leasing moratorium for the 2009 fiscal year and beyond. The measure also memorializes the Legislature’s opposition to the proposed expansion of oil and gas drilling off the Pacific Coast and any federal energy policies and legislation that would weaken California’s role in energy siting decisions

“An Ocean of Politics, Plastics, Noise, Oil, and Fertilizers”
Tomas DiFiore
Seaweed Rebellion: New Oil & LNG Extraction Is Not An Option
Astral Arts Mendocino
Download Full Article 16 pages 132 kb

In the full article you can read about drilling in Municipal parks, State Parks, County Parks, the assault is on nationwide.
Marine Parks as put forth by the Ocean Conservancy offer no protections against drilling for oil or LNG extraction.
The politics of 7 states allowing drilling in parks, the Marine Debris connection to LNG. 90% of LNG is used to make fertilizers and plastics.

Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
Urea 4 U: LNG, Cascading Nitrogen Cycle, Fertilizers, PlasticTomas DiFioreThursday Sep 24th, 2009 8:53 PM
EDC and News Source List Sierra Club Support in JanuaryTomas DiFioreMonday Sep 14th, 2009 9:02 AM
Resource Sustainability Advocate - Sierra Club CaliforniaMichael EndicottThursday Sep 10th, 2009 1:51 PM

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