Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste—Drill Baby Drill!

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Back in November, Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama's chief of staff notoriously said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." Decades of fiscal mismanagement and excessive government spending have finally created a "serious crisis" for the bankrupt Golden State. So

calif oil well

California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to be taking Emanuel's advice to heart. Specifically, the desperate scramble for funds to cover a $26 billion deficit has finally gotten Democratic state legislators to agree to open up California's coast for oil exploration for the first time in 40 years. As the AP reports:

The deal to close California's $26 billion budget deficit included a plan to drill for offshore oil, drawing allegations that the fiscal crisis was used for a backroom deal following rejection of the idea by state regulators earlier this year.

Democrats agreed to Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's request to expand drilling from an existing platform off Santa Barbara to generate a one-time $100 million advance royalty payment this fiscal year and an estimated $1.8 billion in royalties over 14 years.

It would be the first new offshore oil drilling on state lands in four decades since a blowout on a platform off Santa Barbara coated miles of ocean and shoreline and galvanized opposition…

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento … said the state had run out of options and had to make a choice between a project that would generate about $100 million annually for the next 14 years, or to make deeper welfare and social service cuts.

"And, you know, that's a choice," he said.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill's quip:

"You can always count on California legislators to do the right thing—after they've tried everything else."

Well, maybe not

NEXT: Bill James on Steroids: The Ancient Humans of the Near Future Will Shrug

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  1. Off the coast of Santa Barbara is one of the places in the world where oil naturally seeps into the ocean. Pumping from those deposits might actually have a net positive environmental impact, even with the risk of accidental spills factored in.

    I’m not saying that it is a good or bad idea, but maybe it was it easy sell for environmental reasons.

  2. Letting Charles Manson out of prison would be better than drilling for oil. Any idiot knows this.

  3. Letting Charles Manson out of prison would be better than drilling for oil. Any idiot knows this.

    Sarcasm, or brain fart? I couldn’t tell.

  4. Another legitimately awesome use of crisis here in VA.

    Republican candidate for governor Bob McDonnell proposes privatizing liquor stores in order to free up money for transportation.

  5. Isn’t Virginia the state where they charge you $3 grand for a speeding ticket?

  6. Sarcasm, or brain fart? I couldn’t tell.

    That just means it’s very good sarcasm.

  7. “Listen to Mr. Obama’s report on the world crisis, July 22!”

    “To counteract the fears and rumors spread by the enemies of the people, Mr. Obama will address the country on July 22 and will give us a full report on the state of the world in this solemn moment of global crisis.”

    “Don’t forget Mr. Obama on July 22! Mr. Obama will tell you the truth!”

  8. Given the horrid condition of California and the USA, it is probably just best for us not to waste anymore resources under the current regime. It will just make it harder to come back when civilization eventually returns.

  9. Having grown up in the Santa Barbara area, I have to say that this gives me a chill of fear. That’s one of the most biodiverse spots in our entire country, and a major mistake could do enormous amounts of damage. That said, it is true that oil seeps out of the ground naturally, and I know that safety precautions have increased. And it’s not like this decision used to be made with rationality and sound thinking, but I don’t like that it was a way for everyone to avoid cuts to their pet projects and defer our time of reckoning.

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