Even though expanded drilling operations off the Santa Barbara coastline could have created $100 million dollars in California revenue, Governor Schwarzenegger has switched positions and no longer supports drilling expansion.
This is one of the more positive responses to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is shaping up to be the worst in American history.
If a Republican governor no longer supports offshore oil drilling in the wake of this catastrophe, is it possible that the view will become widespread across party lines? Will California lead the way for other states, as it tends to, on the envirnomental stewardship front? Could this disaster become an opportunity for the expansion of renewable energy resources and signal the closing of the petroleum age? If history is any signal, the answer is no, but Schwarzenegger's decision is monumental and the time to phase out offshore drilling and commence more renewable energy projects is now.
Photo: Oil rigs dot the horizon near Rincon Beach in Ventura County, CA (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)