I cannot stress enough to the people of Santa Barbara County just how crippling the passage of Measure P would be to our communities. Many of us here in this county, I feel, have blindly jumped on board the “no fracking” bandwagon without taking into account the role that the oil companies play in our local economy and communities.
From a strictly economic standpoint, the oil companies in 2013 alone gave over $16.4 million to the county government with $10.2 million of that going to local schools and another $2.1 million to fire protection agencies, but all of this pales in comparison to $291 million that the oil companies contribute to our local economy as a whole. In terms of the effects on the community, oil companies employ over 2,000 people in Santa Barbara County. Those employees are hard-working families and citizens who would be out of work overnight should Measure P pass.
Seeing the role that the oil companies play here in Santa Barbara County, and have played for generations, I pose all of you a question. How do you imagine the future of Santa Barbara County be without them? It looks grim in my opinion.