Bolstering environmentalists’ accusations of favoritism in Florida, the Bush administration rejected on Friday a request by California Gov. Gray Davis (D) that it buy back offshore drilling rights. On May 29, President Bush announced a $235 million dollar buy-back of Florida drilling rights, a move that was widely viewed as a favor (and campaign contribution) to First Brother and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R). The administration defended its decisions in part by claiming that, “Florida opposes coastal drilling and California does not.” Golden State residents are scratching their heads over that statement, since in fact public sentiment in California has been dead set against offshore drilling ever since a 1969 blowout of an oil platform killed birds and marine life and despoiled beaches — an event that helped inspire the nation’s first Earth Day and launch the environmental movement. Californians feel pretty much the same way now that they did then, so “It’s fair to say that [Interior] Secretary [Gale] Norton is a half-century behind the times,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope.