Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Oil and gas exploration and development in federal waters off the coast of California have been a source of conflict between federal and state governments for a number of years. More recently local governments and local citizenry have joined in the battle to prevent development of outer continental shelf (OCS) oil and gas reserves. Between 1985 and 1986 the passage of thirteen local land use initiatives prohibiting or requiring voter approval of onshore facilities to service offshore platforms occurred. These initiatives reflect growing local dissatisfaction with the present legislative structure governing OCS development. From their perspective the existing OCS development process does not weigh heavily enough the onshore impacts associated with offshore development, nor provide sufficient opportunity for local input. "In the absence of a formal source of power the local concerns have utilized the zoning authority granted by the state in an attempt to influence federal OCS development. This exercise of political skill and acumen by the locals have made them a player in the intergovernmental relations surrounding OCS development. Three political science models of intergovernmental relations (IGR), the separate, inclusive and overlapping authority models describe the changes in IGR which have occurred in OCS governance as well as describing the view each IGR player holds concerning its role in the process. The differing perspectives of IGR held by the federal, state and local levels contribute to the continuing conflict over OCS development.