The students in the Environmental Affairs Board as well as many students at the University of California, Santa Barbara are proud to study, work, and live in a region that upholds strong environmental values and is at the forefront of taking environmental action. The proposed ExxonMobil project would be in direct conflict with our county’s values and a step in the wrong direction to addressing the challenges of climate change.
The project creates several risks beyond the obvious greenhouse gas emissions. Oil would be trucked to Kern County via State Route 166, a windy and dangerous route that passes through key water and ecological systems. It is because of these risks that the Planning Commission initially determined in 2020 that ExxonMobil’s trucks should not use Route 166, and in 2021 recommended rejection of the proposal in its entirety.
In 2019, Public Policy Polling found that 72 percent of the 890 Santa Barbara County voters expressed concern about “the safety of […] local highways if up to 70 oil tanker trucks are allowed on [the] roads each day.” The Environmental Affairs Board urges students and the community to contact the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors to express their opposition to ExxonMobil and its dangerous trucking proposal.