TPL Supports Revised Santa Barbara Agreement

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) today praised the mofield agreement involving the Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP), an oil firm seeking to expand existing operations in the Santa Barbara Channel.

As part of the agreement, PXP will transfer almost 3,900 acres of lands it owns, including up to 200 acres on the Gaviota Coast and another 3,700 acres inland near Lompoc, with the goal of eventually protecting the land as open space. These lands underlie existing onshore oil and gas support facilities and hundreds of acres of onshore oil wells.

The agreement with three local Santa Barbara environmental groups was originally announced two years ago, but has been modified to strengthen its provisions.

“We have always believed that this agreement is an excellent way to protect lands that currently support offshore oil and gas development,” said Debra Geiler, TPL’s Southern California Director. “We have worked for many years to protect the landscape around Santa Barbara and this agreement is a big step toward doing that.”

The land agreement is part of a larger agreement between PXP and three groups, including the Environmental Defense Center of Santa Barbara.

TPL, created in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. TPL has helped protect more than 4 million acres across the country, including more than 6,000 acres in Santa Barbara County.