Lands commission holds hearing on offshore oil, Tranqillon Ridge project

The state lands commission is discussing the risks to the coast from offshore oil drilling in Los Angeles Tuesday.

Some discussion has focused on the potential environmental threat of new leases in state waters. Environmental attorney Linda Krop told Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi that threat is limited to an area off Santa Barbara.

Linda Krop: "The California coastal sanctuary act says no new leasing can occur in state waters unless the deposits are being drained from a federal facility. There’s only one location in the state where that’s occurred and that’s at Tranquillon Ridge. So everything else should be off the table unless this commission is thinking about going to the legislature and weakening the sanctuary act to allow new development."

California lawmakers considered overruling lands commissioners to move forward an offshore oil project that Linda Krop and Santa Barbara environmentalists support. The company Plains Exploration says it intends to present the project to the lands commission again later this year.