“The Same Unsavory Smell of Teapot Dome”

Paul Sabin

in Crude Politics

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780520241985
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931145 | DOI:
“The Same Unsavory Smell of Teapot Dome”

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The State Lands Act resolved tensions between industrial and recreational usage of the coast by tying beaches and oil together. California's tidelands oil problem became thoroughly intertwined with the conflicts over state finance. While Culbert Olson fumed over institutional obstacles, Standard Oil's alliance with powerful beach protection and development groups throughout the state deepened. California desperately needed an effective way to manage the coastal tidelands. Olson's long struggle to protect California's petroleum rights strengthened state management of the tidelands oil. The 1938 creation of the State Lands Commission, the Division of State Lands scandal, and the election of Culbert Olson as governor closed one phase of California's coastal petroleum conflict. State petroleum politics differed sharply from the earlier federal struggle but also displayed important continuities. The California state courts and state administration bent over backward to open the petroleum-rich coastal oil lands to new drilling.

Keywords: State Lands Act; Culbert Olson; California; petroleum rights; State Lands Commission; Division of State Lands; state petroleum politics; Teapot Dome

Chapter.  11327 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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