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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 2:05 am | Fair 50º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: What’s the Real Story Behind the Story of Measure P?

DRILLING IS DANGEROUS! DRILLING WILL CAUSE EARTHQUAKES AND DESTROY OUR WATER SUPPLY! SANTA BARBARA’S COASTLINE IS THREATENED!

These headlines are what Measure P claims to be about. These are the same claims loudly promoted by Measure P endorsers Janet Wolf, Salud Carbajal, Das Williams, Hannah-Beth Jackson and Lois Capps to secure the environmental vote since they were first elected to office. I would like to believe that each of them is sincere in their beliefs. From firsthand personal experience, however, I know better.

It was early 2010, led by the same political group, an all-out campaign was waged to promote new offshore drilling. This group of players was solidly behind obtaining state approval for PXP Energy Co. to carry out a new 14-year-long drilling program. Linda Krop, lead negotiator for the deal, tried to explain her sudden reversal on drilling because the deal they struck would require PXP to remove four drilling platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel after 14 years — not mentioning the 16 platforms that would remain.

I asked myself, why would such bitterly opposing parties suddenly be in bed together? Even environmentalists wanted to hear more about the secret portions of the negotiated deal.

According to the media, by their own admissions, Linda Krop had become a hired lobbyist for PXP and was paid $50,000. Hannah-Beth Jackson admitted to the same. There were other unannounced “goodies,” including several thousand acres of valuable land. How many thousands of dollars that Linda Krop’s legal firm was paid to draw up the documents, we’ll never know. When all this came out, I had to hold my nose. Ultimately, the State Lands Commission vetoed the whole deal.

At a Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting, I personally went before Janet Wolf and Salud Carbajal and asked one simple question: “IF DRILLING IS SO DANGEROUS AND HIGHLY RISKY AS HAS BEEN THE MAIN PLANK OF YOUR POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS, HOW CAN YOU SUDDENLY REVERSE YOURSELF AND SUPPORT DRILLING FOR EVEN A SINGLE HOUR? A WHOLE DAY? LET ALONE, FOR 14 WHOLE YEARS?

The videotaped meeting, still available online, demonstrates their efforts to dodge my question and then to double-talk around it. They had no answer. Had they been caught?

Fast forward.

How did Measure P, started just several months ago, spring up so quickly? Except for several outrageous claims, is there anything else going on that we don’t know about? And interestingly, it is those same PXP political proponents that now endorse Measure P.

I suggest each of us read the wording of the initiative itself and vote using our own common sense, certainly not based on any of these political endorsements. Click here for more information about Measure P, then click on Measure P2014 - Ban to High-Intensity Petroleum Operations (pdf).

Meanwhile, I wonder if the Environmental Defense Center’s membership has read the recent tax report in which Linda Krop is shown as receiving $99,000 in salary and about $7,000 in other compensation.

Lad Handelman
Santa Barbara

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