County Needs Oil Revenues

Friday, August 22, 2014
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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.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Are we still supposed to believe in trickle down? Last paragraph is the best though. Makes me feel like I'm back in grade school taking a multiple choice test where one of the answers doesn't make any sense but you think it might be the right answer because it's worded so poorly and sometimes those kinds of tests do that to trick you into double guessing yourself. In this case though they are basically calling you stupid, which is the type of person they are appealing to with a 'Please' even.

spacey (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 1:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If not the oil companies, where else are you going to get the money for the cushy pension plans, high speed rail, comprehensive social programs and other boondoggle projects you are anxious to waste money on?

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 5:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Measure P will NOT shut down oil production in SB County as asserted in this letter. Read the darned thing! YES on P!

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 6:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DavyBorwn - the "darn thing" is poorly written. Don't take my word for it, you wouldn't anyway, but go back and review the Board of Supervisor's meeting on exemptions and review comments by the county's top lawyer. He says that should this measure pass, the county will face the largest potential liability he has ever seen. And just so the people know, if there are lawsuits if this measure passes, the county has to pay for them and they are not insured. That's money out of programs, period. Why don't you guys rewrite a new measure and take it to Earth Day for signatures to just ban fracking. After all, that's about all you guys talk about. I believe your chances for passage would be much greater. The other operations you are trying to ban have been successfully used in this county since the early 1960's. That's why you all have to cite problems out of the country or the state. Oil is well regulated in California and particularly so in Santa Barbara County.

solvangman (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 8:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I read the initiative thoroughly. Measure P is wrong in that it covers more than one method of extraction, present and FUTURE. This measure elimates too many methods on one Measure. If passed, this measure will shut down the oil industry. Any business needs growth to survive. The proponents want to stop ALL oil production now and in the FUTURE. With the new technology oil extraction is safer than it ever has been and will continue to be with the rules and regulations and monitoring the oil companies must abide by. It isn't stupid to vote against a measure that you may not understand fully or one that includes more than it should. It is poorly written. I encourage a NO vote on this Measure P for that reason.

sensiblemolly (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 8:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

City of SB is now revealing unfunded infrastructure maintenance needs are up to $450,000, compared to earlier estimates of $200,000. Put that on top of the county unfunded liabilities back log.This entire area is sinking under the weight of too many decades of fiscal recklessness.

The harvest of too many decades of progressive promises and the bills are now due. Thank you SB Independent for your continued endorsements of the high spending pack of progressives you so eagerly supported that creates this mess.

A marriage made in hell: high-spending progressives and environmental wackos who quash any possible sources of new revenue.

Any smart answers out there from this group? I don't mind environmental protection but that has to come at the price of scaling city and county operations, pensions and compensation way back as the trade-off. Not new taxes.

We have to send a new message to our elected officials. When the employee unions howl, we will have the new elected leaders backs who are going to regin in these long-standing employee union excesses.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 8:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wrong. I've read the initiative too. Measure P clearly and explicitly exempts all operating wells, and places no limits on how many new wells may be approved using conventional methods. The industry can grow under Measure P.

Regarding the claim that cyclic steaming and acidization, are "safe " The cyclic steam process used today is not the same as earlier versions of these technologies ... The new enhanced technology uses higher temperatures, higher pressures, and more dangerous chemicals and presents significantly more risk. This newer version of the tech has not been used, for decades, and there are several leaks and contamination of water directly related to use of cyclic steam injection elsewhere. Yes on Measure P would prevent these kind of potentially devastating problems in our county -devastating in that we depend on tourism dollars, farming and tech for the lions share of our income/jobs

Re: economic impact on taxes: The claim is based on the false statement that Measure P will immediately shut down the industry. All current operating wells are protected and since there are no limits on the number of new wells using conventional methods taxes might actually go up.

morgainele (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 9:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The proponents and writers of measure P know nothing about how the oil and gas industry functions. Current jobs are based on future projects, therefore a lot of current jobs will be lost. Current production has to be maintained with maintenance acid work and new replacement wells, therefore current production will fall substantially. Measure P is a poorly and deceptively written piece of paper. It is a curve ball designed to confuse the public. The potential problem that measure P attempts to address only exists in the minds of a few. Santa Barbara county is the most heavily regulated oil and gas industry on the planet. The Water Guardians are long on speculation and lack any real data on local oil and gas practices.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 9:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Morgainele - you need to do more homework than just read the measure. As I stated above, review the Board of Supervisor's meetings. The not exactly pro oil Board is aware of the limitations of this measure. You are right, it will not stop current production immediately, it will take about five years for all production too cease.

solvangman (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 9:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Water Guardians are a front group for the Center of Biological Diversity.
San Benito county has the same group and law firm targeting their oil and gas industry with the same measure.

Look up Center for Biological Diversity. The CBD targets private property rights all over the country. Irrigated farming and Cattle grazing are constantly targeted by the CBD.

They will be back with Agriculture in their cross hairs.......

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

morgainele is totally RIGHT: "Measure P clearly and explicitly exempts all operating wells, and places no limits on how many new wells may be approved using conventional methods. The industry can grow under Measure P." YOU need to read the actual measure solvangman: utilizing conventional methods, all current SB County oil wells can remain in production (so long as your precious "free market" offers a price allowing profits). YES on P!
Scare tactics like those of the three letter writers, with FALSE INFORMATION in them, won't work, and Measure P will pass, and partly because of the desperate and frantic oil industry fronted propaganda pieces like this and other letters.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 10:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Solvangman is right on. Five years for production to grind to a halt. Without routine acid work and replacement of broken wells with new wells, the industry is destroyed.

The measure P folks live in a world of perceived paranoia. The only facts presented too date have come from the NO ON P folks.

Your piece of paper is all deception.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 11:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Davy - it's not what the measure says, it's what it doesn't say. Would your sympathetic Board of Supervisors be rapidly trying to write exemptions if there were not ambiguities in the measure? AGAIN - listen to the county's non-partisan top lawyer and not you OR me. This measure is a mess.

solvangman (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 12:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah, let's listen to lawyers, politicians and oil men. After all, they are the pillars of society. So the people get an initiative on the ballot, if it passes, the county gets sued? Love how all this works, makes perfect sense! Why not sue the people? After all, if it passes, we are the ones to blame. Bring it on, let's get sued! Squeeze the populace of all they have left. Show us what you're made of. Steal pension checks, savings and property of the citizens. Let's see if oil has the nerve.

spacey (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 2:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This reminds me of the ACA - it was going to be a disaster, millions would lose their insurance ("just mark my words"), insurance payments will go up, blah, blah, blah.

Now the silence on ACA is deafening.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 2:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Spacey" - that's babble. The "lawyers" I referred to are the county lawyers appointed by the Board of Supervisors who, as I suspect you know, are very environmentally inclined. If you know the subject matter better than they do then perhaps you could apply. They're always looking for bright attorneys and, unfortunately, I think they're going to need them.

solvangman (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 2:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Obamacare is a disaster and it has not even been fully implemented. People who got subsidies like it sure, but its full brunt has not yet even begun to be felt. Obamacare is not only a present diaster across the board, it cannot possibly work ever when fully implemented. You must be getting prescription strength KoolAid or really getting your Obamacare info mainlined from DNC Central.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 2:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Obama wants an "all of the above energy" policy. Measure P is anti Obama. I guess that makes measure P racist. I am starting to think like Tabatha. LOL

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 3:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

nativegeo - nope, the only person you can think like is you, muddled, confused and very dishonest.

This was my quote: "Much of the opposition to Obama is because he is a Democrat. The right just cannot stand not being in power, and oppose the policies of any Democratic president - it is par for the course"

Measure P is about safeguarding water. Current oil production will not be affected.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 4:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Do some homework tabatha. All current oil production will eventually be affected by this measure. That's according to the Santa Barbara County Planning Department, not the No on P campaign.

solvangman (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 5:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tabatha, stop living in hate and fear. It hardens the arteries and cuts your life short. Your measure P piece of paper is just a piece of paper. You know nothing about the nuts and bolts of the oil and gas industry. Learn to co-exist. President Obama wants an "all of the above energy policy". Measure P is counter Obama at a minimum. Admit it!

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 5:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

your problem solvangman is, of course! "All current oil production will eventually be affected by" …TIME… this measure won't allow you oil guys to frack and do other sh!t to the well in order to bring out more petroleum, so by outlawing those nasty secondary recovery methods…you feel aggrieved and sad about losing this industry. It was a 19th century thing (original right there in Summerland), went wild in 20th cent., face it…fossil fuel industry is winding down AND SHOULD BE STOPPED. After we pass Measure P, yep, we'll do another and tighten down some more.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 6:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Davy - When you divest yourself of all petroleum products, then you will have the credibility you desire. Did you use a regular toothbrush this morning? If you did, you used petroleum. Does your, I suspect, energy efficient car have any tires, rubber tubing, seats and plastics parts? If so, you used petroleum. Did you ever use diapers for your children? Then you used petroleum. Does your bicycle have tires? If it does, you used petrolium. Do your sandals have rubber soles? Keep drinking the cool aid my friend. There's about 11,000 everyday uses for petroleum. When you personally divest yourself of every one of them, then you can spout off about oil. Until then, you're a hypocrite.

solvangman (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 7:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

That's pretty desperate logic there .. you use products made from petroleum and therefore should have no interest in making sure the extraction of oil is done in a way that doesn't endanger aquifers and community water supplies?

Regarding fracking in SB, Venoco recently used fracking and there are no guarantees Venoco or others won't frack again in the future. Stating that fracking isn't being used at this very moment in time is but a clever rhetorical device:

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 2 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Agree EB, and the LATimes article is definitive, with details, and it sides with YES on P! Measure P will not halt current oil production using current methods of extraction.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 6:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Isn’t it amazing? No matter what letter is printed regarding No on Measure P, the environmental naysayers come out in force. I, for one have had it with THEIR disingenuous views and comments. THEIR scare tactics have no truth to them. Santa Barbara County has healthy air and healthy water that is strictly regulated by our government agencies.

So, what is THEIR actual motive supporting Measure P? THEY want to control Santa Barbara County. THEY want to shut down OIL production; and THEIR next step is AGRICULTURE. They say THEIR concern is that oil production is detrimental to our environment; our tourism; and our agricultural industry. Who are THEY kidding? THEY want to pit agriculture against oil; then, agriculture, including our vineyards, will be next on THEIR radar.

The citizens of Santa Barbara County must support each other’s industries before the Water Guardians and THEIR followers destroy and control all of Santa Barbara County. Vote No on Measure P.

IAW (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Boo! Scarry huh? funny thing iaw, I have heard wine makers talk against fracking and steam injection, unprovoked. Your conspiracy theory on agriculture and vineyards is, well, conspiracy.

spacey (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 11:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Careaga is the name of a lease. Could it be that the author of this letter (the Careagas) have a giant financial interest in growing oil production in the County. People who make money from the industry should disclose that in their letters and not pretend they are neutral observers. One can hardly be neutral if you stand to make millions. The oil industry traditionally dumps as much external cost on the rest of it as it can, they just want the money and the Government subsidies. Then the rest of us have to deal with any problems. This includes not only water and toxic stuff but climate.
The wells proposed will be equal to the carbon footprint of the entire county several times over. And for the record I listened to the tapes of the supes and the the County Attorney and he did not say Measure P will shut down all existing production. Look for yourself. Its pretty clear we can maintain the existing level of production going forward if the County wants to.

alset108 (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 12:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Alset - If you watched the whole presentation with the Board, they did say that all existing wells would fall under the restrictions in the measure eventually. The county attorney said that the passage of Measure P would be the largest potential financial liability issue the county has ever seen.

solvangman (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 1:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

IAW - that is what democracy is all about. Opinion from all sides - from supporters and opposers. That is the only way that one can hear both sides. Both sides will have truth; both sides will have hype. It is the opportunity to hear both sides that should be sacred above all, and it is somewhat alarming that you do not see that. You should welcome discussion.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 1:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Libertarian Accidentally Shows How Obamacare Is Succeeding

Why would I believe anything you say, JJ?

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 1:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Spacey - You can do better than that. You know it's the truth. After, THEY are finished with oil, they will move on to agriculture.

tabatha - I appreciate your comment. We all welcome opinion from both sides, but the proponents and their followers only make comments from outside of Santa Barbara County. So where are the truths within our own County? I feel it is very difficult for the oil industry to tell untruths because they are so highly regulated by our County and the State of California. We need oil - period! Our Country needs oil! We need DOMESTIC oil! "NO" on Measure P.

IAW (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

1. I thought Water Guardians were SB based.

2. The oil industry is not that highly regulated in CA - in fact they refuse to divulge the chemicals they use. What do they have to hide? How are they able to hide it?

3. Also, unlike other states, CA does not have any regulation about groundwater. We are living off groundwater now, and it is running out. Would you prefer oil or drinking water.

4. The US is now rivaling Saudi Arabia in exported oil. Domestic oil production in the US is at an all time high.

Thus I have countered your claims with different claims. What is the truth? I believe 1, 2, 3, 4 are all fact-based.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 1:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The Careaga name is well known to folks living in Orcutt & Santa Maria and to people working in North County's oil industry. The first big commercial oil well in this area was on Ramon and Juan Careaga's ranch (Careaga #3) as well as one of the most productive wells ever known (Old Maud).

The ranch has been split up and changed hands many times but there is no doubt family descendants possibly with holdings remain in the area.

This is a good read if you want to learn about the fascinating history of the Careaga family and the history of oil production in this area to this day:

Breitburn Energy and Pacific Coast Energy are now the largest oil companies working the Orcutt Field and both have made large contributions to the campaign against Measure P (see LA Times link above).

The Orcutt Field is of course over the Monterey Shale formation which is at the heart of the fracking debate in California:

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 1:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tabitha - Sounds to me that you cannot support any of the facts of Measure P that you and Katie Davis’s followers have been brain washed to believe. The only truth is that "the Water Guardians are Santa Barbara based".

From what I am reading, Katie Davis is a Water Guardian from Santa Barbara County today; next week, next month, next year…it will be another name from another County – trying to destroy the economic growth and stop all methods of oil production throughout California.

You and Katie Davis want the citizens of Santa Barbara County to lose their livelihoods; to bankrupt their County; because the only truth you can come up with regarding Measure P is you thought “the Water Guardians are Santa Barbara based".

Where are your truths regarding Santa Barbara County? Your facts are useless. You spent more time researching my initials IAW (I Am Woman), than you did researching your so called true facts defending Measure P.

Don’t even respond back to me. You don’t want a discussion; you just want to fill people’s minds full of nonsense that you cannot proof. But do feel free to divulge us with your “truths”, such as:

1. How many earthquakes in the Santa Barbara County have we had that you want to blame on oil production? When and where in Santa Barbara County?

2. What ground water is contaminated from oil production? When and where in Santa Barbara County?

3. What part of Santa Barbara County is our air quality is so horrible that you want the citizen’s of Santa Barbara County to believe that the oil industry is responsible for?

4. What chemicals are you referring to? I hope it’s not due to fracking because fracking is basically prohibited in Santa Barbara County, already.

5. Why do you not believe in our Government?

IAW (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2014 at 8:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

IAW, you proved your shilliness with your rubber and glue nanny na na. 'You know its the truth'.

spacey (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2014 at 12:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

agree spacey, and IAW can set herself free by admitting the truth: YES on P! And this Yes! will NOT end oil production in SB County as those desperate magnates keep screaming, or have their shills screaming...

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2014 at 1:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This November lets support Obama and his "all of the above energy policy." Vote NO on measure P. Our economy in Santa Barbara is to fragile for risky experiments like measure P.

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.

The Water Guardians are a well-funded Astro Turf offshoot of Santa Barbara’s Their Astro Turf extents up and down the coast of CA. The same measure P is in San Benito county drafted by the same international San Francisco law firm, hardly a grass roots group. These extremists are well funded by leftest billionaires and they care little about the working class in Santa Barbara.

nativegeo (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2014 at 9:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Our tree hugging friends (Tabatha, Alset 108, DavyBrown, Spacey) solemnly instructing us old oilhands about the oil business is a hoot. You try so hard to sound like you 'get it' about the business.

You dont. Clearly you dont.

nuffalready (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2014 at 5:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Morgainele: Tell us more about the new cyclic steam processes that (apparently) are not the same as 'earlier versions'. Tell us about the new higher temperatures, higher pressures, and especially about the more dangerous chemicals. We oilhands have not been taught that steam will carry dangerous chemicals along with it. We thought it was just water, but hey . . what do we know? .

We've been hobbled by the steam charts used since the 19th century. See them here:

Perhaps the Water Guardians have discovered something new. Physicists the world over wait (breathlessly) for your breakthru findings.

nuffalready (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2014 at 6:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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