Calif. panel rejects new offshore oil drilling - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Calif. panel rejects new offshore oil drilling

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - The State Lands Commission has rejected a proposal that could have led to the first new oil drilling project off the California coast in 40 years.

The panel voted 2-1 against Plains Exploration & Production Co.'s request for approval of its bid to expand drilling off Platform Irene in the Santa Barbara Channel.

The proposal was announced last year with a landmark alliance between longtime anti-oil environmentalists and the oil company.

The environmental groups signed a confidential agreement to lobby for the deal in exchange for a raft of promises from the Houston-based company, including billions in revenue for the state, thousands of acres of land and a commitment to end its local drilling by 2022.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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