About John McCain’s visit to Santa Barbara on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported: “. . . in this coastal city, the site of a disastrous oil spill in 1969, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was dogged by critics at nearly every turn for his recent embrace of offshore drilling.”

No surprise there. Californians made clear long ago that they don’t want more oil wells intruding on their ocean views.

Some critics view this opposition as hypocritical. One comment on my Tuesday post seemed to capture the moment: “Californians make me mad.”

Here’s the problem: We drive gasoline-powered cars, many of them very large cars. We build freeways. We build auto-dependent towns. We build big houses long distances from where we work and play. And then we say, don’t drill an oil well in our backyard.

While he takes a pounding in Santa Barbara, McCain may figure his support for new oil drilling will make friends in swing states such as Ohio, where there are no ocean views and where voters can be tempted with the question: Where do those Californians get off?

In our defense, let it be said that $4 a gallon gasoline is causing many to re-think their transportation options. Check out Staff Writer Randi Rossmann’s story today – here – on the boom in new bicycle sales.