At this time last year, the Central Coast watched in horror as nearly 143,000 gallons of crude oil spilled onto our coastline from a corroded Plains Company pipeline. I remember seeing the blanket of glistening black oil over the water near Refugio as well as the overwhelming stench of gas in the air for the weeks to follow.

The Central Coast is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse environment in the world. Scientists from all over the world come here to study our ocean’s diverse ecosystem, and we cannot risk irreversibly damaging our environment. In Congress, I will continue to support Congressmember Lois Capps’s legislation to improve federal oil and gas pipeline safety and monitoring regulations, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, regulation that ensures a spill from our eroding pipelines does not permanently damage our ocean. I will continue to fight for a permanent ban on offshore drilling and instead encourage us to move toward cleaner energy solutions that help create new jobs, like we did with the solar power facilities in the Cuyama Valley and on the Carrizo Plain.

We are all lucky to call the Central Coast home, and we owe it to our future generations to pass down clean air, clean water, and the opportunity to enjoy these magnificent open spaces throughout our region.

Salud Carbajal is a candidate for the 24th Congressional District.


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