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Unmoved

In this year of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Union Oil spill that befouled our ocean and beaches and birthed the modern environmental movement, at a time when the current administration in D.C. is doing all it can to roll back every environmental protection enacted since, and when we in this region are mounting serious opposition to the fossil fuel extraction industry, including ExxonMobil’s application to resume trucking crude oil up our coastline since the Plains All American Pipeline disaster of four years ago shut it down, not to mention the proposed hundreds of wells to be installed in North County, it seems more than odd that you would publish an article dramatizing the plight of a few workers who have chosen to cast their fate with one of the largest and potentially criminal fossil fuel extractors.

It is good to get more than one side of a story, but the idea that the few jobs brought back is worth restarting the extraction and transportation of crude oil from the remaining offshore platforms beggars belief.

I was at the Goleta City Council meeting when a few workers, in their work garb, looking to me like a Village People knockoff, were put on pathetic display in a plea to overturn the resolution to ban the trucking of oil from the onshore pipeline to the processing up the road. The Goleta City Council was not taken in by this ploy and voted unanimously to support the resolution.

I’m interested to know that there are human beings doing the nefarious work of ExxonMobil, and that their lives have been made difficult because of the ongoing disaster of the fossil fuel industry, but the best thing they can do is seek employment elsewhere, we hope in a less destructive industry.

As a union member, my sympathy almost reflexively falls with the working people, but in this case, their plight does not move the needle and I am quite incredulous to see this piece published without any counterbalance to the narrative, leaving us awash in pathos for the displaced workers in an industry hell-bent on continuing its profiteering at the expense of us all.

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