Every community faces the challenge of unmet needs — not enough money to go around for basic public services, let alone taking care of underserved residents in virtually every sector of our community. This includes our veterans — women and men who served our country honorably and well — for whom it’s challenging to find jobs despite the training and discipline they’ve gained as members of the armed forces.
This is why the local chapter of American GI Forum supports Aera Energy’s proposed redevelopment of its existing East Cat Canyon oil field. The project is expected to create hundreds of well-paying jobs that are likely to be a good fit for the skills and experience of local veterans, and to provide tax revenues that can help support the public services veterans and other citizens rely on.
As veterans, we also appreciate the energy independence that local production affords, reducing our dependence on imported oil.
Aera’s project will be good for Santa Barbara’s veterans, civilians, and economy while enhancing our energy security as a whole. It deserves the county’s approval.
Willie Galvan is commander of the American GI Forum, Santa Maria Chapter.