Oily to Bed Makes a State Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise
In a triumph for environmentalists, a federal appeals court has blocked an attempt by the Bush administration to revive dormant oil leases off the coast of California. Last year, a federal court granted California the power to prevent new oil exploration in federal waters near the state’s coastline, a ruling that was appealed by the Bush administration. Yesterday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision. The oil leases in question were granted between 1968 and 1984, before a ban on drilling was enacted; now they are the last hope of oil companies for expanding oil operations in the state. Yesterday’s ruling, however, dealt a blow to those hopes and cast doubts on the possibility that any of the leases will ever be developed. The administration has not decided whether to challenge the ruling, but California Gov. Gray Davis (D) said the White House “should take the hint and halt further attempts to exploit California’s spectacular coastal resources.”
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