In the Jan 20-27 edition, there was discussion on the future of the oil industry in Santa Barbara County. However, there was no mention of the real culprit — oil consumption. To decrease production without decreasing consumption does nothing for the environment — if anything it actually increases pollution as no place else has the strict environmental controls of S.B. County.
When you deny the expansion of existing fields like Cat Canyon and deny ExxonMobil the ability to truck oil, you are saying we don’t need that oil in Santa Barbara County nor do we need the tax revenue generated by this industry. So rather than just pay lip service to this whole issue, do something meaningful.
If the oil that could have been extracted in the Cat Canyon fields and from the platforms represents 10 percent of the daily consumption in S.B. County, let’s cut the availability of petroleum products 10 percent by category, not overall, and cut county spending from property taxes by 10 percent. Yes, 10 percent cut in gasoline, diesel, oils, natural gas, and asphalt. Don’t forget 10 percent cuts in clothes with synthetic fabrics, medicine, cosmetics, paints, tires, carpet, plastic packaging, printer ink, etc. There is literally nothing you buy that does not use oil in some way.
Those groups cited in the articles as well as the planning commissioners should be leading by example on this issue. If they don’t feel they should have to make the sacrifices and cuts, they are really saying they are nothing more than NIMBY hypocrites.