The Water Guardians’ contention that Measure P allows the oil industry to continue is simply not true. Measure P will shut down onshore oil production in Santa Barbara County. Current county regulations speak to the use of fracking, and Measure P’s proponents are lumping this in with steam and acidizing. This is based completely on an effort to strike fear in a public that does not know the difference.
Approximately 400 onshore wells use steam injection and brackish salt water that comes from ancient deposits thousands of feet below the fresh water tables. It is heated to steam and injected into the well for several days to thin the oil, then reused or returned to the same zone it was removed from or another approved site. This is carefully regulated and inspected by California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, which enforces the most stringent and restrictive regulations in the country. Steam is just that … steam! A natural, safe means to an end.
Currently, acid is used in wells to keep the lines open. It is used in water wells as well as oil wells to remove calcium and other deposits that clog the pipes and restrict the flow. Anyone with a swimming pool also uses acid as do all water districts. Are they all going to be shut down?
There is no fracking in Santa Barbara County, and there are no plans for fracking or requests for fracking permits. Fracking is not suitable in Santa Barbara County due to the thickness and density of the shale oil formation.
The oil industry pays $12.7 million to local schools, $4.4 million to county general fund, $2.6 million to County Fire, $0.06 million to Special Districts, and $0.03 million to cities.
To date, the average number of jobs related to the oil industry (extraction, pipeline, refining): 1330. Average annual wage in Santa Barbara County for oil workers is $113,600 (80 percent higher than all workers in the county). Total payrolls are $151 million.
Annual property taxes: $20.3 million. Annual royalty payments to the state from S.B. County leases: $25 million. County Public Works gets $250 million for roads; General Services gets $35 million for county vehicles, computers, facilities; Community Services and Parks get $7 million.
All the above would increase with future permitted wells or stop completely if Measure P is passed. These monies trickle down to all the public in one form or another and certainly do not pertain to the “few” who prosper.
Measure P would stop oil production in the present and future and cause a great loss of jobs and revenue due mainly to the misinformation and fear tactics of a few misdirected, self-appointed “guardians.”
Please vote No on Measure P. If you do not fully understand the measure, just vote No. This will eliminate adding rules and regulations from a measure that should not be passed.