Off-Shore Oil Drilling

6/19/2008 Fresno, CA -------------------------------------------------------------
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But those are fighting words for California's Governor. At a news conference in San Diego Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "I myself want to make sure I do everything I can to make sure California is protected. We made a deal awhile back to say no drilling our shores in California. We are not gonna change that no matter who is recommending other things."

Governor Schwarzenegger is bucking his fellow Republicans on the national and state level. State Senator Dave Cogdill, who represents the Fresno area makes his position clear, repeating the motto, "Drill here, drill now, pay less. That's certainly what we believe needs to happen and should have happened a long time ago."

An exclusive new poll conducted by survey USA shows Californians seem willing to start drilling.

59% percent say it's time to change the law to expand drilling.

33% percent remain opposed.

8% percent are undecided.

But would more drilling help?

Geologist Robert Merrill of Fresno State says while there is more oil offshore, it's not worth the effort to get it. He says," Even if we weren't concerned about the environment the US oil demand is so high today, it would add to the supply for a short period of time."

Merrill says additional offshore drilling in California would be too expensive and potentially devastating.

"That's a very short term solution to a small piece of the problem. The environmental damage that would occur in some of those areas is phenomenal."

The memory of the 1969 oil spill in the Santa Barbara Channel is just one reason why drilling off the California coast will face opposition from environmental groups and elected leaders from both parties.

Speaker of the California Assembly, Democrat Karen Bass of Los Angeles put it this way, "The idea of drilling off of California is absurd. I can't even imagine we'd entertain that."

Governor Schwarzenegger says the solution lies in conservation and new technology, not in more drilling for what he calls, "dirty oil."

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