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Plains Exploration & Production Company
Why the Santa Barbara oil deal collapsed
Why the Santa Barbara oil deal collapsed

There's no place in the country, or possibly the world, where offshore oil drilling is as sticky a subject (literally and figuratively) as Santa Barbara. Forty years ago to the day last Wednesday, a gigantic spill from an ocean platform wrecked beaches, massacred sea life and helped transform the national environmental movement from a tweedy nature-appreciation society into a political force. So when many of Santa Barbara's most determined anti-drilling activists teamed up to back a deal that would allow an oil company to drill under state waters off the city's coast, it was a jaw-dropping moment. Just as surprising, given the deal's powerful backing, was its collapse...

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