Monday, June 18 , 2018, 7:34 pm | Fair 67º


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Santa Barbara Council To Take Up Resolution on Oil Drilling Moratorium

A majority of the city leaders appear ready to vote in favor of the proposed resolution in support of the moratorium on new leases off the coast.

The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday night will consider offsetting a symbolic statement issued last month by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors by passing a proposed resolution in support of keeping in place the federal moratorium on new leases for oil drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara.

Proposed by Mayor Marty Blum and council members Helene Schneider and Das Williams, the symbolic resolution needs at least one more vote for majority support by the council, which appears likely.

Councilman Roger Horton said Monday that he intends to vote in favor of the resolution, which is being floated at a time of great anxiety about the rising cost of fuel, dependence on foreign oil and global warming.

“(Drilling) just takes the focus away from where it really needs to be: finding new ways to create energy and finding new ways to use less,” he said. “As I understand it, the (oil) usage in ‘07-‘08 is the highest the country has ever had.”

On Aug. 26, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to send Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a letter requesting that he support lifting the ban, saying it would help lower gas prices and reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil, as well as generate revenue for the county.

(Supervisors Brooks Firestone, Joni Gray and Joe Centeno voted in favor; Janet Wolf and Salud Carbajal, against.)

Not all of the Santa Barbara City Council is convinced that the resolution is a good idea, however. Councilman Dale Francisco said Monday he is still thinking about it. Francisco said he was unimpressed by the shortage of information provided to the council on the matter.

“We really don’t have any facts to deal with here; we have whatever opinions people come into the room with, and that’s really all,” he said. “This is a very, very serious policy decision and a very complex one, and the idea of just throwing this on the agenda for a resolution like this — it seems careless.”

Noozhawk staff writer Rob Kuznia can be reached at [email protected]

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