Climate group 350 Santa Barbara delivered more than 2,700 signatures on petitions to the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission on Monday, in opposition to the Santa Maria Energy Project.
“Santa Barbara County residents don’t want a massive increase in oil production here using new, dangerous and polluting extraction techniques,” said Katie Davis, 350 Santa Barbara member.
The proposed Santa Maria Energy Project would drill 136 new oil wells in Santa Maria using 300,000 gallons of water otherwise used for irrigation and generate 88,000 tons of greenhouse gases — equivalent to adding over 17,000 cars to county roads.
According to the EIR and county staff, the project would be among the largest greenhouse gas producers in the county. SME would use cyclic steam extraction (CSE), a controversial technique being used to extract the highly controversial Canada tar sands.
This summer, CSE caused a tar sands leak heavily contaminating water and killing wildlife. The leak has been ongoing for several months with no end in sight.
Speaking at a climate demonstration lead by 350 Santa Barbara on Saturday, Mayor Helene Schneider said, “Santa Barbara is at the forefront of environmental action.”
350 Santa Barbara is a local chapter of 350.org, a global grassroots movement to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 400 ppm to what scientists say is a safe upper limit: 350 ppm.