For those of us who have been opposing the three proposed Cat Canyon oil projects, the announcement that PetroRock has withdrawn its application to drill 231 wells between Sisquoc and Orcutt is welcome news. Meanwhile, the fight continues against the two other Cat Canyon projects. Aera and TerraCore’s projects will add nearly 500 new wells, generate substantial greenhouse gas emissions that severely increase climate risks, jeopardize drinking water quality in the Santa Maria Groundwater Basin, use thousands of gallons of freshwater for drilling, and threaten public safety.
As evidenced by the recent crash and spill of more than 4,500 gallons of crude oil into the Cuyama River upstream from Twitchell Reservoir, the remaining Cat Canyon proposals constitute major threats to our water, wildlife, and communities. Hundreds more crude oil tanker trucks will be put on our roads if the TerraCore and Aera Energy projects are approved. In the coming months Santa Barbara County will consider whether to approve these proposals. Please urge your planning commissioners and county supervisors to deny these dangerous projects.
Ken Hough is executive director of the Santa Barbara County Action Network.