Dozens showed up at the Santa Barbara County building to protest ExxonMobile's proposal to restart oil trucking from Las Flores Canyon.
Protesters Blast ExxonMobil’s Trucking Proposal
Energy Company Wants to Restart Oil Drilling Platforms
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Several dozen anti-oil protesters gathered in front of the Santa Barbara County Administration building Wednesday afternoon to speak out against ExxonMobil’s proposal to restart its three drilling platforms off the Santa Barbara coast. The company’s proposal includes the production of 10,000 to 12,000 barrels per day that would be trucked from the Las Flores Canyon Facility to Santa Maria and Maricopa via highways 101 and 166. Up to 70 trucks per day would be rotating between the three locations around the clock.
By Paul Wellman
The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission Hearing Room was packed for a scoping meeting taking comments on ExxonMobil’s proposal to restart oil trucking from the Las Flores Canyon facility.
Production from all southern Santa Barbara County oil platforms came to a screeching halt in May 2015 with the Refugio Oil Spill, when a main transportation pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline ruptured and released more than 142,000 gallons of crude onto the Gaviota Coast. Exxon is seeking a trucking permit for seven years, or until the pipeline is fixed. The company has said the trucking plan will support local jobs and that the deliveries would be safe.
Wednesday’s demonstration, organized by a number of regional environmental groups, was held an hour ahead of the 6 p.m. county scoping hearing which allowed the public an opportunity to speak for or against the project’s environmental impact report, which looks at issues concerning air quality, traffic impacts, and potential spill hazards.
By Paul Wellman
Linda Kropp with the Environmental Defense Center comments on ExxonMobil’s proposal to restart oil trucking from the Las Flores Canyon facility.
Speakers recalled the Refugio spill. “It’s important to keep in mind what just happened in 2015 with the pipeline, which is supposed to be safer,” said Linda Krop, chief counsel of the Environmental Defense Center. “Trucks are known to be dangerous,” she said. “The route is very windy and extremely narrow.” With a number of recent climate-related disasters in Santa Barbara, others asked the county to take climate change into account. Overall, their message was clear: The only safe course of action is for the county to deny the project.
Bob Poole with Western States Petroleum Association comments on ExxonMobil’s proposal to restart oil trucking from Las Flores Canyon.