We are blessed to have two state legislators who are working to clean up the messes made by too many decades of fossil fuel development. Assemblymember Das Williams and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson have both lobbied hard to get funding to fix Summerland Beach’s leakiest well, the Becker Wellhead. As of two weeks ago, the governor had introduced a line item in the upcoming state budget specifically to cap that well. In addition, Senator Jackson has introduced SB 900 — with Assemblymember Williams as principal coauthor — to require the state to direct resources to inventory and clean up legacy oil infrastructure statewide. Since most of that infrastructure is in offshore Santa Barbara County, this is particularly important to our area.
As a long time Summerland resident and frequent beachgoer, I can attest to the need to direct resources to these old, long-abandoned wells. For the sake of those who live nearby, and for the marine life forced to live in polluted waters and forage on contaminated sands, it is long past time that the state took action. Our legislators are doing their best to make that happen.