A Preemptive Measure for Health and Safety

Is Increased Oil Production Worth the Risk?

Friday, August 15, 2014
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Here in Santa Barbara County, we have coexisted with the oil industry for a long time, and if Measure P passes in November, we will continue to do so for a long time to come. The initiative exempts all current oil operations and does not affect any current oil jobs or revenue. It also doesn’t limit future oil wells using conventional techniques.

What Measure P is designed to do is to head off the expansion of specific, high-risk techniques — fracking, acidizing, and steam injection — that are causing environmental destruction, water contamination, and health impacts in California and elsewhere. While primitive versions of these techniques have existed for decades, advances in technology have brought a substantial increase in their use, as well as the associated risks and problems.

The question Measure P poses is whether that dramatic increase in risk to Santa Barbara County is worth the small amount of additional oil produced for the benefit of a few.

These processes all use a tremendous amount of water and generate greater air pollution and carbon emission than conventional oil production. They use toxic chemicals and generate polluted water that can contain arsenic, lead, benzene, radioactive compounds, and other dangerous substances that can contaminate water via spills, high well-casing failure rates, and other means, and put our health at risk. This polluted water must be reinjected underground to dispose of it. But this process has triggered earthquakes in places like Ohio and Oklahoma.

The oil companies tell you this is safe, but the oil regulators disagree. In California, the state department of oil and gas recently shut down 11 wastewater injection wells over concerns the waste was being injected directly into aquifers used for drinking water. The EPA has just released a report saying that monitoring of injection wells is insufficient: “The safeguards do not address emerging underground injection risks, such as seismic activity and overly high pressure in geologic formations leading to surface outbreaks of fluids.”

Santa Barbara County has little water to spare even in the best of years, let alone a time of extreme drought. Many communities near oil fields like Lompoc, Vandenberg Village, Orcutt, and Los Alamos are completely dependent on groundwater that could be contaminated by large proposed oil projects. Our county is riddled with fault lines capable of large earthquakes. Our economy is based on farming, wine, tourism, and technology, and a healthy environment that are put at risk by nearby high-intensity oil extraction. Agriculture alone contributes $2.8 billion to the local economy.

Extreme oil extraction creates few jobs, and many of these are temporary or for imported specialists. The small increase in oil production we’d see from these techniques is not worth the risk to the other 99 percent of our economy, our population, our health, our food, and our irreplaceable resources.

Instead of drilling for more oil here in Santa Barbara County, we should be taking active steps to cut our dependence on fossil fuels in order to reduce our impact on global warming and help move California into a cleaner, 21st-century energy economy. Voting yes on Measure P is the best way to move us toward that goal.

Katie Davis is a volunteer with the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians and


Independent Discussion Guidelines

What happened to the glossy signs? We know you are not a grass roots organization. Go water the ASTRO TURF

"How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA"

"Through these arrangements, the Billionaire’s Club gains access to a close knit network of likeminded funders, environmental activists, and government bureaucrats who specialize in manufacturing phony “grassroots” movements and in promoting bogus propaganda disguised as science and news to spread an anti-fossil energy message to the unknowing public. Not only is the system incredibly sophisticated, but the Club’s attorneys and accountants have mastered the loopholes and gray areas in the tax code, which enable them to obtain a full tax benefit, even when the recipient of the grant is not recognized as a public charity, and even if the money indirectly and impermissibly funds political activities.
In order to understand how the Billionaire’s Club colludes with the far-left environmental activists and government officials, the report articulates the fundamental framework that governs these relationships. Essentially, the far-left environmental machine is comprised of hundreds of nonprofit organizations. Each entity is set up according to its designated purpose and is either a private foundation or a public charity, depending on where the cog fits in this well-designed wheel."

Thanks to a recent Senate report, your deception has been exposed.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2014 at 9:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

geo, your link might be more believable if it came from a .gov site instead of Your astro turf on the far left conspiracy is LOL all day! Keep it comin'.

spacey (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2014 at 1:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What is your expertise, Ms. Davis- a former marketing executive who moonlights with Al Gore?

Yes, let's all follow the leader and play Russian roulette with our county's economy, our neighbors' jobs, our schools and public safety services, and our energy bills because the Pied Piper Water Guardians and their band of Merry Marxists want us to.

There is no fracking occurring in the county. And as of a few months ago, the Water Guardians just discovered their latest straw man buzz term, cyclic steaming. The goal of this measure is 100% industry shutdown.

You're headed for $10/gallon gas by 2015 Californians:

...and if the Water Guardians have their way, it may be well beyond that.

First they came for the oil companies, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not in the industry.

Then they came for the golf courses, and I did not speak out—
Because I did not play golf.

Then they came for fishermen, and I did not speak out—
Because I did not own a fishing business.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

DJ_Jazy_Van_Jones (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2014 at 2:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wait, holdup guys. Katie Davis and the Water Guardians used a Marxist group at UCSB to help them get Measure P on the ballot.

Maybe they are working deep undercover for Al Abengoa Gore and Kleiner Perkins Baufield & Byers to socialize all the Billionaires Club's green tech profits back to the taxpayers who paid for the green tech R&D and will lose their jobs from Measure P!

Farabella (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2014 at 2:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh lawd, here comes the nonsense and the offensive. Why bring Marx into this? Looks like big oil has got the fear. Look at where we are headed, oil is the past. They have been keeping us down for years; JP Morgan vs Tesla. They can only keep the blinders on for so long, too long if you ask most.

spacey (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2014 at 3:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

99 to 1 - where oh where have we heard that before? Same folks, just different clothes.

solvangman (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2014 at 3:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Rachel Hooper of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP.

Put some Water Guard on the ASTRO TURF. LOL

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2014 at 4:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

NativeGeo. Shute, Mihaly & Wienberger LLP is about to be sued out of existence. They came up with this Measure P albatross. They'll be wearing it if it passes.

nuffalready (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2014 at 5:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nuff, I hope so. Rachel Hooper and her ilk have destroyed our states economy. Our county supervisors need to be called on the carpet, as well.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2014 at 6:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

YES on P!! Thank you for your letter, Katie. Clearly, big oil is terrified and has all their forces out there lying about fracking.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 2:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Solvangman: We are all nudists!

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 3:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

BS article containing the usual BS scare tactics so beloved by the more radical environmentalists.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 9:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

try some facts, JL...Measure P doesn't halt oil production in SB County, it limits certain ways of expanding that production. Fine, "usual scare tactics" etc., back it up with data, big guy.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 10:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

just because you yell ASTRO TURF doesn't make it true:

(native geo) ASTRO TURF

spacey (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 10:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"What Measure P is designed to do is to head off the expansion of specific, high-risk techniques — fracking, acidizing, and steam injection — that are causing environmental destruction, water contamination, and health impacts in California"

Katie, can we get some FACTS? Please site some local facts on the destruction, water contamination, and health impacts...... Facts that include Santa Barbara county. Thanks

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 11:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Spacey, are you saying Katie doesn't hang with Al Gore?

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 11:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm saying, when you call out people for what you are doing, that makes you something. Guess what that is...
I'm saying, astro turf hangs with Hannity.

spacey (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 11:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hangs with Hannity, Davis, Hooper, Claasen.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 11:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Center for Biological Diversity is the funding/legal resource behind this initiative. They are doing the same thing in San Benito County using a so-called grassroots group called San Benito Rising to put a similar initiative on the ballot.

The Center for Biological Diversity sues all energy producing projects - even solar plants - for the sake of lizards and rodents. They want domestic energy companies to go out of business. Never mind that cyclic steam oil recovery is proven safe and that there is no proof of oil contaminating aquifers anywhere; they just want to shut down petroleum production through fear mongering.

There is no fracking or proposed fracking in San Benito County either. There are two small oil exploration companies that the CBD wants to shut down. We have a choice in November. Support companies that provide jobs, meet all environmental regulations and improve the economy or run them out of business for the sake of a radical environmentalist agenda.

Mikeinsanbenito (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 12:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks Mike, what are the chances? The exact same measure in San Benito. How far does the ASTRO TURF go?

Let us hope the working class shows up to vote this November.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 1:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@nativegeo who showed up here a week ago. No this is a real grassroots movement. You on the other hand are part of the reactionary, big money campaign to lay crappy astroturf lies all over the innertubes.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 1:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I showed up to protect my livelihood and inject the real facts. I don't work for the Kochs. Big Oil left SB along time ago.

The truth is coming out and you feel threatened.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 1:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hangs with Hannity, Davis, Hooper, Claasen.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 11:36 a.m

U mean clausen.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 4:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dolphinpod: Even though Loonpt won't like what I say, I really think it's time you get on some medication.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 5:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think in your case, some MK Ultra ULTRA would be apropos.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 5:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

MK Ultra, it tastes just like candy.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 5:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

...and for those watching their waistlines, we now offer MK Ultra Lite.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 7:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

MK Ultra, when you care enough to serve the best.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 7:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

MK-Ultra is nothing to joke about.

spacey - If it was on a government website, it's BS by definition. Some of these sites sites have overlapping graphs showing changes.
"Why bring Marx into this?" ?: Because it's PC fascist groupthink promoted by media censorship and Aspen Institute (eg. IPCC co-founder Maurice Strong) perception engineering/propaganda.
Google NASA NOAA GISS altering past climate data scam

Jim Stone, former NSA analyst, Fukushima, etc

DrDan: Back it up with data, big guy!

14noscams (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 8:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Everything is eventually something to joke about.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 8:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ha ha, groupthink. 14noscams you suffer from trollthink.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2014 at 9:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Stating "...that are causing environmental destruction" is indeed a scare tactic.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2014 at 6:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

MikeinSanBenito, the CBD is a Soros funded group through the Soros funded Earthjustice. Hooper is on their payroll. Of course, Katy Davis is plugged into Al Gore. It is sad that the average Santa Barbaran is duped by these leftist billionaires and their paid cronies.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2014 at 7:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nature already fracked the county from one end to the other. It apparently survived. The other two 'high risk' techniques Ms Katie is all up in a twist about - acidizing, and steam injection have been conducted extensively over the county for 50 years.

Where is the "environmental destruction, water contamination, and health impacts" resulting from these high risk activities? Where is it? None of you eco-posers have answered. How about you Herschel? Give us your wisdom.

nuffalready (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2014 at 7:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Measure P is going down. The Water Guardians poked a bear in the face with a sharp stick. They are all running scared now. The truth is out. They can't back up the their claims of destruction from cyclic steaming or acidizing in SB county. Fracking is non-existent county wide. The attack on private property rights is unconstitutional. Ranchers, Farmers and business owners across the county are not going to roll over and watch their private property rights get trampled. Rachel and Katie got the county commissioners in the cross hairs of the voting populace. The left may never recover from this one.........

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2014 at 8:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Rachel and Katie ordered the troops to stand down. They have a big event planned for this week. One big push from the disinformation machine. stay tuned......... The fun is just beginning.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2014 at 8:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why did Barry return to Wash DC to have this one day "high level face to face meeting" with Joe Biden?

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2014 at 9:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Katie Davis stigmatizes a well stimulation process called hydraulic fracturing (e.g., “fracking”). She writes that it is a high-risk technique which causes “environmental damage“ and uses a “tremendous amount of water.” Katie provides no evidence to support her claim. Neither does she provide a background to help the reader form a proper perspective as to the amount of water that is actually being used.

I can provide that service.

The California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) states, “[w]hile other states may use millions of gallons of water for each fracture job, in California wells are typically 80,000 to 300,000 gallons of water for an individual well. Keep in mind this is a one-time occurrence. Once a well is fractured, it may produce for decades without any additional stimulation. To put this water usage in perspective, the average American golf course uses 312,000 gallons per day. In a place like Palm Springs, where there are 57 golf courses, each course uses up a million gallons per day. There are 1,200 golf courses in California while there are typically less than 700 wells that are hydraulically fractured each year. This means that all the wells in California that are fractured use about a half day’s worth of water in a year when compared to in-state golf courses.”

You can read the full White Paper here…
CIPA, Hydraulic Fracturing – White Pater Executive Summary from the California Independent Petroleum Association /public/CIPA_HF_White_Paper.pdf (8.18.2014).

Is the CIPA truthful? Is the CIPA accurate? The CIPA at least seems to be willing to risk such an investigation because the CIPA provides hard numbers that you and I can check. This is more than is being offered by Katie.

MVatuone (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2014 at 11:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for the levity MVatuone. Does this mean in order to stop killing the earth we need to ban golf courses? The beer and polyester industries will be crippled...They do use green electric carts so that's a plus on their side.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2014 at 2:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And the big one:
Hydrofracturing isn't employed as a well stimulation method in onshore production in S.B County. So, whats the point?
I'll tell you, Scaring the public with the bad boogey man word "fracking" and thussly shutting down an industry that responsibly produces energy for refinement here in the county.
And to clear up some questions from other letters: Produced Water is what the water is called that comes up WITH the oil. Some oil fields in Kern County actually sell it to farmers becoming a NET negative water consumer. So it'd kind of like the "Doesn't Hold Water Guardians" argument.

catskinner (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2014 at 3:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I hate to toss fracking under the bus to appease the 'water guardians'. Some of the deeper Monterey zones like the Careaga near Los Alamos is very tight, maybe due the increased overburden pressure. There is a bunch of oil down there. Fracking correctly done should help. Veneco did frack 2-5 wells there before fracking was made into the new F-word.

I keep inviting our self-appointed 'water guardians' to ride their horses (they wouldnt dream of having a car) out to the 2300 block of the Hwy 134 to see an actual fraaaaaaaaacked well. The environmental damage out there is utterly (well) invisible. No matter.

We'll not let the facts get in the way of our bogey man stories. . . eh guardians?

nuffalready (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2014 at 3:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, from a number of conflicting sources, it appears that fracking is not going to happen in California, because

a) "Porous Monterey Shale allows oil to flow naturally without fracking" By Lad Handelman, SOS Co-Founder

b) Even fracking cannot get the oil out of Monterey Shale - "Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California's vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national "black gold mine" of petroleum.

Just 600 million barrels of oil can be extracted with existing technology, far below the 13.7 billion barrels once thought recoverable from the jumbled layers of subterranean rock spread across much of Central California, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

Unlike heavily fracked shale deposits in North Dakota and Texas, which are relatively even and layered like a cake, Monterey Shale has been folded and shattered by seismic activity, with the oil found at deeper strata."

Thus to my relatively uninformed mind

a) no fracking is going to happen because it is, depending on sources, either not needed or it does not work on earthquake-mashed Monterey shale - so why the issue?

b) since there are only 600 million barrels of oil in California that can only be extracted using current methods - why the fuss from the oil industry? How would a fracking ban hurt oil production?

Possibly, both sides are jumping up and down over non-issues.

Oil industry, just keep on drilling until all 600 million barrels are out with non-fracking current methods, and then go somewhere else.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2014 at 5:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tabatha/Cori, why do you keep bashing an industry that you know nothing about?

You live in the highest concentration of natural occurring oil seeps in the western hemisphere. Don't you want to protect mother nature?

If hydrocarbons were so bad, you guys in south county would be dropping dead left and right.

In north county we put the oil in a tank and protect the air with vapor recovery systems.

South county lives in a natural occurring incubator of hydrocarbon expulsion. Learn to live with hydrocarbons or move.

Try co-existence and tolerance. Learn to embrace diversity.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2014 at 7:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Stop the hysterical arguments nativegeo and other oil industry shills. This measure does nothing to curtail current oil production and methods. No one is bashing the oil industry. This measure is simply an attempt to control potentially hazardous oil extraction methods.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2014 at 7:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Herschel, Measure P is an outright ban on non-hazardous oil extraction methods. You alarmists need to turn off the internet/MSNBC and get a life. We aren't the boogey man. Co-exist. Be neighborly.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 9:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Tabatha/Cori, sorry I missed your question on unemployment.

July was an interesting month for Santa Barbara County,’s Water Guardians saw their Measure P qualify for the ballot followed by a significant uptick in unemployment. According to the State Employment Development Department, unemployment jumped from 5.4% in June to 6% in July, resulting in a loss of 4,000 jobs. The majority of job losses were in the civil service sector. Allergen’s Goleta location also announced its closing along with the loss of 300 jobs to the county.

Its all good right? SMALLER CARBON FOOTPRINTS???

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We all recall Supervisor Carbajal's poverty study.
It should be a "no brainer" for Supervisor Carbajal to support "NO ON P" effort. A few reminders of his study are:

"Out of the county’s 400,000-plus residents, nearly 74,000 — almost a fifth of the population — are living in poverty. Some other staggering findings include:
• In high-poverty areas, the child poverty rate is 40 percent, adults 30 percent, seniors 10 percent.
• Only about 16 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree in high-poverty areas.
• High-poverty areas are home to 40 percent of the county’s residents using alternative transportation.
• About 34 percent of families in poverty live in South County, but they receive about half of the county’s public housing units and Section 8 vouchers.
• Nearly 72 percent of the unmet child-care needs are in the high poverty areas, with a huge portion in Santa Maria.
• In high-poverty areas, the average age of death is three years younger.
The study also found startling comparisons between how average wages for full-time jobs have changed between 2000 and 2010. While residents countywide only suffered an average yearly loss of about $21, those living in the high-poverty areas saw cuts of more than $2,000 a year.
Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said that he used to live in poverty himself, but he credited a higher-paying job, not social services, with freeing him from that status." (The kind of jobs you find in the oil & gas sector)

Supervisor Carbajal, thank you in advance for taking a public stand for

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 12:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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