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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 19th May 2017 > CRUDE AWAKENING


Opening up California’s coastal waters for oil drilling will be a boon for Trump and some members of his Cabinet
WELL HEAD: Oil surges to the surface near a drilling rig off the coast of Santa Barbara on February 4, 1969. Three million gallons of oil spilled in the 1969 disaster, which led President Nixon to establish the EPA.

SANTA BARBARA is dripping with oil. Walk along the beaches of this Southern California city and chances are, tar will stick to your feet from the natural seeps. In 1896, due west of the waterfront, the world’s first experiment in offshore drilling unfolded in the Summerland oil field. A half-century later, Congress passed the Submerged Land Act, which established that states regulate everything within 3 nautical miles of the shoreline. Beyond that, it’s federal territory. The first federal lease, about 8 miles off the city of Carpinteria, was sold to Phillips Petroleum, Continental and Cities Service Oil Co. in 1966; two years later, 2,000 gallons of crude leaked from the platform that Phillips Oil built on the lot. Phillips and then-Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall assured angry residents that a spill of that magnitude would never happen again.

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MACRON STRONGER THAN LE PEN, BUT FRANCE’S WORRIES FAR FROM OVE It was the day the world didn’t end, the day that the tide of populism that gave the world Brexit and Donald Trump turned, the moment when French voters chose pragmatism over protest. That, at least, was the judgment of Europe’s establishment at the victory of centrist Emmanuel Macron in the May 7th French presidential election. It’s not hard to see why the defeat of the Euroskeptic, anti-immigration Marine Le Pen was so vital to the West’s future. A victory for Le Pen’s far-right National Front party would likely have heralded the disintegration of the European Union and the end of the continent’s grand experiment with open borders. However, with Macron's victory, establishment Europe shouldn’t feel too relieved about right-winger Marine Le Pen’s defeat in France.