Oil Profits and the Public Good

Recent letters and articles have promoted more oil development over and through the Santa Maria groundwater basin. Who will profit and who will be hurt by these new high pressure intrusions through our diminishing drinking water aquifers? AERA and ERG, two oil companies, have recently been flooding the media with promises of good jobs, community progress, and prosperity for us all if Santa Barbara County will approve their plans to dramatically increase high pressure oil and gas drilling upstream from Santa Maria.

Oil company proposals and environmental impact statements to the county are riddled with false, incomplete, and rosy assumptions to justify new, dangerous drilling activity that will severely injure our health and environment long after they have grabbed their oil profits and left town. Our land and water will be further poisoned and squandered. These new projects will provide few new jobs in the energy industry and are dwarfed by the hundreds of new good paying jobs created by clean and safe solar and wind energy development in our area in recent years.

Our water supply is threatened by drought and overuse. Our climate is threatened by increasing production and burning of fossil fuels. It is time to conserve our resources and consume responsibly. It is time to live within our means and produce and use our own energy. No more oil leaks and spills. No more natural gas explosions in our homes and businesses. No more oil-soaked pelicans and seals.

Please tell your County Board of Supervisors to stop this new onslaught of extreme oil development. Monterey County, San Luis Obispo County, and Ventura County have taken action to stop dangerous oil extraction and encourage safe energy development. Santa Barbara County can do the same.


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