Environmental Defense Center Appeals Drilling Project

Planning Commission Had Approved Santa Maria Energy’s Plan

The Environmental Defense Center on Friday filed an appeal to the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission’s 3-2 approval on 9/25 of the Santa Maria Energy Oil Drilling and Production Plan, said Nathan Alley, an attorney for the EDC. Located on a property near Orcutt, the project would see the construction of 110 new oil wells — there are already 26 pilot wells at the site — as well as two steam generators, a crude-oil pipeline, and a water pipeline that will transfer recycled wastewater from the Laguna County Sanitation District for the steam generators, which will emit greenhouse gases. The Planning Commission approved the project to have a 29 percent emissions threshold, releasing about 67,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year. The EDC has argued that the project could technically be held to zero emissions. The appeal will now go to the Board of Supervisors at a later date.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

You Solve It,’ City Tells County on Library Money Shortage

To avoid financial shortfall, city sends ball back to county's court.

Vigil for Victims in Palestine Held at Courthouse

Community gathers to protest injustice.

Stoker to Be Sworn into EPA Job

Former Santa Barbara County supervisor confirms his appointment as regional head of Environmental Protection Agency.

Live Stream of Channel Island Falcons Makes History

Webcam follows wild peregrine falcon family on the Channel Islands.

Sonos Informs Employees of Potential Layoffs

'Restructuring' could affect 96; how many in Santa Barbara unknown.