Welcome to the Wrong Side of History

With last week’s endorsement of No on P (Measure P bans extreme oil extraction methods like fracking), The Independent moved to the wrong side of history. And like the papers that argued for slavery, for segregation, to keep smoking in restaurants, or to block gay marriage, The Indy has thrown away its legacy.

In an incoherent and mealy-mouthed statement, the editors suggest that the primary reason for this betrayal of Santa Barbara is that the initiative process that produced Measure P flies “in the face of good governance.” Presumably, you endorse leaving power over regulation of Big Oil to the Board of Supervisors. What you fail to mention is that Big Oil has essentially bought two supervisors (Lavagnino and Adam) with massive contributions to their campaigns. Recently they attempted to unseat a third. Had they been successful, Chevron would have unfettered ability to frack and put our health, safety, and ground water at risk. And they are not done trying.

Measure P is a direct response to this threat. The initiative process is the only way to block Big Oil’s political land grab.

Complaints that Measure P is “too hurried” are akin to the pleas issued by southern states to “avoid haste” in desegregation. Arguments that the initiative process is not good governance is reminiscent of arguments that slavery was about State’s Rights rather than Human Rights.

Big Oil, just like slave owners or tobacco before them, will act to protect their rights. In this case, to pollute for profit. Our right to clean water trumps Big Oil’s rights. Don’t be confused. Vote “yes” on P.


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