Why Did Obama's Oil-Drilling Plan Spare California?

President Barack Obama's announcement this week that he will open new swaths of the Atlantic coast and eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling in order to reduce United States dependence on foreign oil pointedly left the West Coast out, leaving some to wonder whether he aimed his drill bits at so-called, Republican-voting red states.

Wonkette blogged that ""Obama will only ruin the coast of red states ... States that voted for John McCain get to enjoy oil spills and coastal devastation. Not that they're the kind of people who own swimwear or go to beaches or swim or whatever."

At least according to Obama administration officials, there is some truth to that observation. The president's plan avoided California because political opposition would have made implementation difficult.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters that "California is a place where you have the entire Pacific Coast, including governors and senators, opposed to any kind of offshore drilling."

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" ... Opposition there was too great," he said.

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