California Gov. Gray Davis (D) is pulling no punches in his fight to block new oil and gas drilling off the coast of central California. His administration yesterday unveiled a broad plan to pursue “whatever legal or regulatory action is available” to protect the coast from oil exploration. It’s likely to be a brutal battle between California elected officials and the oil companies, which want to tap into 40 sea-bottom oil tracts they paid for as long ago as 1968. The U.S. Minerals Management Service is poised to grant permission this summer to seven companies to develop their oil leases.

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