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:

Adam Brothers Farm Identified in E. Coli Outbreak

Santa Maria farm recalls romaine and additional produce.

Goleta Swears in New City Leadership

New mayor and new councilmembers step onto the dais.

SBCC Scrapping Remedial Class Requirement

A new state law is designed to boost graduation and transfer rates.

Pot Dispensary Hit with Stop Work Order

City claims construction was done without proper permits.

Santa Barbara Priests Named in New Abuse Reports

Twelve men accused of child molestation served in area parishes.