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Oil in the County

Kudos for “Kicking a Dead Dog.”

While Exxon tries to convince us that trucking oil from Gaviota to refineries in Santa Maria and Bakersfield is perfectly safe, Welsh rightly points out that Exxon’s 70 truckloads of oil per day will be multiplied many times over by other onshore and offshore projects, resulting in increased traffic, accidents, spills, and air pollution. 

The day before Poodle published, two tankers overturned in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, killing one driver, sending the other to the hospital, and causing road closures. Neither truck was carrying oil, fortunately — but imagine if they had been?

In addition to Exxon’s trucking proposal, three companies are in the approval process to drill 750 oil wells in North County; the Federal Interior Department intends to begin fracking in the Los Padres National Forest; and the EPA has proposed to exempt 30 miles of aquifer in Cat Canyon, near Orcutt, from the Safe Water Drinking Act, thereby allowing disposal of fluids from oil and gas production into our drinking water.

This is bigger than 70 trucks. Our county’s health and future are under attack by moneyed interests in collusion with politicians who choose to profit rather than to protect us, our drinking water, and our children’s future. 

The city of Los Angeles and the state of New York are working with labor unions to retrain oil workers in alternative energy jobs, which are plentiful, lucrative, and safer than jobs in oil. Let’s join them. 

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