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All But 2 Calif. House Republicans Support Drilling; West Coast Governors Respond

Something to keep in mind come election time.

Seventeen of California's 19 House Republicans have signed a letter supporting drilling off the state's coast.

They sent the letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco on Thursday as House Democrats assembled an energy package that would allow offshore drilling if states opt in.

The lawmakers, led by Ken Calvert of Corona, focus on revenue drilling could generate for the state if California opts in and if states are given a cut of the royalties.

Pelosi opposes drilling off the coast of California, as does Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The two Republican House members who didn't sign were Mary Bono Mack of Palm Springs and Brian Bilbray of Carlsbad.

In response to this, Governors Gregoire of WA, Kulongoski of OR, and Schwarzenegger of CA reiterated their opposition to new offshore oil and gas development by sending a letter to Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne commenting on the Minerals Management Service's Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2010-2015.

"We urge the federal government to look for realistic short- and long-term solutions to our energy problems instead of pursuing a course that would be devasting to the environment and would not provide the fundamental economic relief that consumers seek", stated Governors Gregoire, Kulongoski, and Schwarzenegger in the letter.