Measure P: Equivocation

There is more than a little interest in Measure P, as there should be. Its fate will have much influence on the future of our county.

Why, you may ask, have oil companies chosen to spend so many millions for our votes? They have every right to do so, and it’s certainly in their economic interest. One of the oil companies has already publicly stated its plan for over 7,700 drilling locations in our county. Another has sold a 95 percent interest to a Chinese company for over $900 million. Without Measure P there would be an increase in oil operations like we have never seen before.

Oil companies have compelling arguments about jobs and county revenues. On the other side, there is concern, chiefly, about our precious and limited water resources. History supports both the claim that oil drilling has had economic benefits for the area, and also that it has caused contamination and pollution.

We buy insurance of various kinds knowing that a risk may be quite small. We decide that it’s just not worth taking a big chance without any protection. As we go to the polls, I would ask that before a vote is cast against Measure P, you be absolutely sure — sure that you want to take the risk and are willing to personally accept the possible adverse consequences.

If you don’t support Measure P and are leaning against it, consider one last time the claims on both sides. If you still have strong doubts about P, don’t vote for it. But if you believe that there may just possibly be some real risk from a significant increase in drilling, maybe the safest and most responsible choice is not to vote either way on Measure P.

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