Carpinteria – Last night, Monday, October 13, crowds packed the room at the Carpinteria City Council meeting as the Council debated taking a position on two ballot Measures – Measure U, a school bond initiative, and Measure P, the Healthy Air & Water Initiative to ban fracking and other high-intensity oil production in the County. The City ultimately endorsed both Measures.
Most of the speakers and attendees were there for Measure P. Carpinteria businessman, Jim Taylor, made the case for Measure P, saying, “Measure P made the ballot because the people of Santa Barbara County don’t want hazardous chemicals injected into the ground below our feet. We don’t want toxic vapors wafting over our vegetables and school-yards. We don’t want our groundwater supplies put in jeopardy, especially in a time of extreme drought. And, finally, we don’t want our beautiful Santa Barbara County to look like the oil fields of North Dakota.
We appreciate that some of you have already come out in support of Measure P individually, and it is our hope that you endorse it as a Council. This would be a true act of civic leadership, demonstrating your commitment to protecting our critical water resources and environment. ”
Public comments were lopsided in favor of Measure P with most Carpinteria locals speaking on behalf of Measure P.
Mayor Stein, Al Clark and Fred Shaw each spoke passionately about why they are wholeheartedly supporting P. “It is ironic that oil interests threaten us with litigation due to “uncertainties” around their investments, and yet they offer us no certainty that our water won’t be contaminated,” said Council Member Fred Shaw.
The City Council voted 3-2 to endorse Yes on Measure P. The two declining said they based their vote on their principles to not use their council member positions to affect politics.
Carpinteria is located in proximity to fracking operations taking place just over the County line in Ventura and residents are concerned about the potential for oil expansion in the area. In 2010 Carpinteria voters rejected a ballot measure by a 70-30 margin that would have given the green light to Venoco to drill for oil from the bluffs — despite Venoco’s promise of millions of dollars in school funding.
The City of Carpinteria joins a growing list of Measure P endorsers, with many more elected officials coming out in favor of the Measure than opposing it. Most recently, County Supervisors Janet Wolf and Salud Carbajal endorsed Measure P.
For a complete list of Measure P endorsements, visit http://www.voteyesonp.org/endorsements