Thanks to Tristan Partridge and Javiera Barandiaran for pointing out the deceptive statistics presented by ERG Energy at the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission hearing in Santa Maria on March 13. Partridge and Barandiaran detail solid academic research that shows that the greenhouse gas emissions from oil operations in Cat Canyon are almost double what the oil corporation presented.

Furthermore, the amount of oil that California imports was equally misrepresented by ERG.

I would like to add another gem to that information. It was recently reported that the five largest oil and gas companies in the U.S. spend nearly $200 million a year lobbying to delay, control, or block policies to tackle climate change. Chevron, BP, and ExxonMobil were at the head of that list, the report said.

As Mark Twain famously said, “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” I hope my trust in our Planning Commission to know the difference is not ill-founded.


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