Plains Exploration & Production Company
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...