This week’s announcement by President Bush that his administration would spend $235 million to protect Florida’s pristine areas from oil and gas drilling has aroused both the ire and the envy of California environmentalists, who saw the deal as a family favor designed to aid the reelection bid of First Brother and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R). California greenies, who have been fighting to stop 36 offshore drilling leases, continue to hope that the president might seek to boost his own reelection prospects by currying favor in their state as well. They say that an oil spill from one of the leases could devastate fragile coastal areas. But prospects for a Florida-esque deal in the Golden State are far from certain. Such an arrangement would be far costlier than its Florida counterpart, because oil and gas companies originally paid over $1 billion for drilling leases in California.
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