There were many articles over the weekend on Schwarzenegger’s plan to fund state parks through revenues generated through a twice-rejected plan to drill new oil wells in the ocean off Santa Barbara. Here are some reactions:
"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."
"Why anyone would think this would ever get approved is kind of a mystery," said Elizabeth Goldstein, Executive Director of the California State Parks Foundation, who is championing an $18 vehicle registration fee to fund state parks and give motorists free admission.
"The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) rejects the Governor’s proposal to eliminate core public funding for California’s 278 state parks and replace it with uncertain funding from an oil drilling project that has not been approved for California, as announced in his proposed 2010-11 State Budget today," a statement from the organization read. "He has resurrected the Tranquillon Ridge offshore oil drilling proposal and has attempted to give this controversial and uncertain financial proposal environmental credentials by directing its proceeds to the state park system."
“Californians should reject this false choice between offshore oil drilling and state parks,” said Graham Chisholm, executive director of Audubon California. “The Governor is hoping that our love for state parks will compel us to take his bitter medicine and support new offshore oil drilling. The park measure will secure the future of our state parks without jeopardizing California’s coast.”
"Our coast is one of our most important economic assets and renewing offshore oil drilling puts at great risk our tourist and fishing industries," said Dan Jacobson with Environment California.
"The hypocrisy of the Governor cannot be overstated," said Susan Jordan who directs the California Coastal Protection Network. " He would rather reverse forty years of bi-partisan California state policy against offshore oil drilling to push through a pet project over 100 statewide groups have joined to oppose rather than require oil companies extracting oil from our state's sea beds pay a severance tax -- their fair share to taxpayers for doing business in California. We are the only oil producing state in America that does not tax extraction of gas and oil on lands owned by the state. This would bring in more than 1.5 billion dollars annually to the state's General Fund," she emphasized.
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