My family has deep roots here in northern Santa Barbara County. We own land that has been used for farming and ranching since the 1860s, which has had oil production since the 1920s. This county is a beautiful place to live with a wonderful climate, a place where agriculture and the oil business have always been respected professions and have worked together to provide a better life for everyone. People always seemed to appreciate the benefits of locally produced food, and of locally produced oil. Both agriculture and the oil business have worked to provide a strong and well-balanced economy for the County as a whole and for the North County in particular.
Now, we are under attack. The Water Guardians and their supporters are accusing the oil industry of creating great risk for the county because of fracking, and what they call “extreme” production methods. First, oil companies do no fracking here. Second, the methods the Water Guardians describe as “extreme” are cyclic steaming and acid treatment, both of which have been used on our properties for over 50 years, safely, and with none of the ill effects they warn of. Oil production has, and remains, a good partner for ranching and farming families.
Measure P is a real threat to ranchers and farmers. Despite what its backers say, it has the very real potential of shutting down all oil and gas production in the county. While they claim the exemption process will protect existing operations, it looks to be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive – just because an exemption may be possible does not mean it will be achievable. Shutting down gas and oil production will have drastic negative effects on local farmers and ranchers. It will reduce property values and income by taking away our property rights. If Measure P is successful, what will they attack next?
This is not what I want for our County. I am voting “no” on Measure P. Please join me and many of my friends in agriculture in voting “no” on Measure P.