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SOS California Follows ‘The Road 2 Energy Independence’

New film explores offshore oil production along the Santa Barbara County coast

Celebrating its five-year anniversary, SOS California will premier its new film, The Road 2 Energy Independence, at a private, invitation-only event on Wednesday at the Birnam Wood Golf Club in Montecito.

The film expands upon its original short film, A Crude Reality, released in September 2009, providing the public with scientific facts and research about the environmental and economic benefits available by opening offshore production along the Santa Barbara County coast.

On July 26, the House of Representatives passed HR 6082, which would direct the federal government to open 29 offshore lease sales across the country, including several oil and gas lease areas in federal waters off the coast of Santa Barbara County. As discussed in the SOS film The Road 2 Energy Independence, much of the discovered but off-limits California offshore oil and gas resources can now be produced with virtually no new spill risk by directional drilling from land or from existing offshore platforms — meaning: new platforms are not necessary to access these offshore leases.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, also introduced bipartisan legislation to expand American offshore energy production with a revised five-year leasing plan and a provision for revenue sharing to all participating coastal states.

As SOS explains at length in its film, this alone represents billions of dollars annually to the State of California — for decades to come.

“Developing California’s offshore oil reserves would represent $1 trillion to the state’s economy,” SOS California co-founder Bruce Allen said.

f passed into law, this legislation would mandate 37.5 percentrevenue sharing of the federal lease revenues with California and potentially Santa Barbara County, creating thousands of high-paying jobs and reducing California’s growing dependence on foreign oil. These new revenue streams could help eliminate Santa Barbara County’s chronic budget deficits, provide a large new revenue source for increasing funding for local education and essential social services, and greatly improve the local economic base, while further reducing the chronic offshore natural oil and gas seepage pollution that has plagued our Central Coast beaches for thousands of years.

“We intend for this film to spark an unrelenting examination into the issues we raise and for viewers to seek and share their answers with fervor, as an informed public is the best agent for positive change,” Executive Director Judy Rossiter said.

— Maria Long represents SOS California.

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