Our last blog post explored new efforts to protect our State Parks (the “State Park Access Pass” ballot initiative)…and (unfortunately) this blog post explores another haphazard plan by the Governor to hold our Parks for ransom.

The Governor released a new budget scheme to fund parks through revenues generated by offshore oil drilling near Santa Barbara, CA.  Never mind that the oil drilling project has been rejected twice (once by the State Lands Commission and then again in the legislative budget process).

Assemblyman Huffman summarizes the situation best:  “Blackmail might be a better term for it,” said Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, who chairs the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.  “He’s saying I’ll fund the parks if you’ll open up the coast to new oil drilling.”

The Governor’s plan rubs Surfrider wrong for many reasons.  First, we are partnering with other organizations to protect our state park system–aside from fighting to keep a six-lane toll road out of San Onofre State Beach, we are working to safeguard our underfunded “park system” so our members can enjoy safe and clean state beaches.  Secondly, we think this ‘new plan’ is especially appalling because California’s ocean, waves and beaches are vital recreational, economic and ecological treasures that will be polluted by increased oil drilling.

Surfrider launched a campaign: “Not the Answer”.  The campaign asks the fundamental question: why are decision-makers stilladvocating for environmentally harmful ways to meet oil needs, when they should be seeking a comprehensive and environmentally sustainable plan that includes conservation and alternative energy?

The answer to this question certianly doesn’t reside in the Governors new plan to hold our parks ransom.

 Take action and tell your elected officials the Governor’s plan is not the answer!

Click here to read Surfrider’s official response to the swindle.