[Noozhawk’s note: This program will be rescheduled. In its place, The Santa Barbara Channels will present an election special on May 12 featuring candidates in the district attorney and District 35 Assembly races. Click here for more information.]

The next episode of Real Talk: A Santa Barbara Forum, the public affairs program hosted by Jerry Roberts on The Santa Barbara Channels (Channel 21), will explore the issue of offshore oil drilling. A panel of experts will focus on the Tranquillon Ridge project off the coast of Santa Barbara, and also discuss President Barack Obama’s plan to expand oil drilling on the Atlantic coast, the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and what all of this means for California’s environmental future.

In 2009, the State Lands Commission rejected the Tranquillon Ridge project proposal negotiated between Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP) and the Environmental Defense Center to allow PXP to slant-drill into state waters from an existing platform in federal waters, in exchange for its future commitment to end all drilling in four areas off the Santa Barbara coastline.

Following that action, EDC and PXP drafted and released a revised proposal, which they intend to bring again before the Lands Commission, which has authority over offshore oil leases in California. With prominent political leaders on both sides of the debate, the proposal has generated considerable political controversy, particularly within the environmental community.

Real Talk’s panel of experts includes Linda Krop, chief counsel of the Environmental Defense Center, and 1st District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, who favor the plan, and Susan Jordan, an Assembly candidate and founder of the California Coastal Protection Network, and Jack Eidt, a statewide environmental activist and creator of Wild Heritage Planners, who oppose it.

Real Talk will be recorded on May 12 at The Santa Barbara Channels studios, 7000 Hollister Ave. The public is encouraged and invited to submit questions, comments or to be part of the studio audience by e-mailing forum@sbchannels.tv.

Click here for more information on Real Talk: A Santa Barbara Forum, or The Santa Barbara Channels.

— Silvia Rodriguez is outreach coordinator at The Santa Barbara Channels.