A growing number of local chambers of commerce have recently announced support for Measure J, Venoco Inc.‘s oil and gas development initiative on Carpinteria’s June 8 ballot that seeks to ultimately allow for the city’s General Plan to be amended to allow for onshore drilling to an offshore location.

In addition to the Carpinteria Valley Chamber’s backing of the initiative, also known as Measure J, the Camarillo and Goleta Valley chambers also have endorsed Measure J, as has the influential Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties.

“Our region needs to create new jobs and generate sorely needed tax revenues for our cities so they can remain solvent during this severe economic downturn,” alliance board president Kristen Amyx said. “Additionally, the concept of royalties being paid to the local jurisdiction for oil production should occur for every project we do in California.”

If approved by state and local regulatory agencies, after approval from Carpinteria voters, the Paredon project is estimated to generate as much as $200 million in royalties and up to $1.6 billion for the state, which continues to endure a $20 billion budget deficit and lower than expected tax revenues. The initiative would be a new source of revenue for the state, Santa Barbara County and the city of Carpinteria.

— Brendan Huffman is executive director of the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.