Debra J. Saunders

Bargain for royalties of 20 percent or more, and you fund a lot of teachers and parks. Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, had been pushing for legislation to approve slant-drilling before this year's budget battle.

"I can see rigs from my district," DeVore noted -- and the hotels by the beach are booked. What is more, local oil means good jobs for Californians, less opportunity for transportation spills and fewer American dollars sent to oil-rich countries with competing national interests.

When the tax revenues were flowing, it was easy to oppose offshore oil drilling -- because, as Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski put it at a federal hearing on offshore drilling, supporting drillings "sends the wrong message." But saying no to offshore oil drilling while driving is a message in itself. And Californians need to have a realistic policy -- to go along with the real needs of Californians.

Debra J. Saunders

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