Legislation to slap a permanent ban on oil drilling in state waters off Santa Barbara died in the Assembly on Tuesday evening.
Facing strong lobbying from the oil industry, the bill, SB 1096 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), couldn't get close to the minimum 41 votes needed to pass. The final tally was 28 to 34.
In presenting the measure, Assemblyman
"We should not be drilling for oil in our equivalent of the
Defeat of the Jackson bill was crucial to the plans of Bob Nunn, a Northern California oilman, who wants to drill from the land on Air Force property under the ocean to access oil in a field known as Tranquillon Ridge.
The deposit currently is being siphoned by an offshore platform in federal waters beyond the three-mile-from-shore limit for state tide lands.
By passing the bill, Jackson had hoped to sideline Nunn's project by closing what she called a loophole in state law.
Lawmakers who spoke in opposition said they saw no need to change current procedures that designate the State Lands Commission as the authority to approve new offshore oil drilling leases.
Nunn's company, Sunset Exploration Inc., and its partner