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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 4:55 pm | Fair 67º


Letter to the Editor: Measure P a Giant Game of Balderdash

“Balderdash” was a board game popular in the 1980s that involved bluffing and making up stuff. My family played this game when my children were younger. Sometimes they made up whoppers, just like the proponents of Measure P are doing.

In reading some of the recent “letters to the editor” and the language contained in Measure P, that is the game that the proponents are now playing. A recent letter hoped we would believe that accidents in other parts of the world will happen here. They fail to recognize that the Santa Barbara County oil industry is one of the most highly regulated industries on Earth.

Water quality and levels are strictly monitored by DOGGR (California Division of Oil Gas & Geothermal Resources). The division oversees the drilling, operation, maintenance, and plugging and abandonment of oil, natural gas and geothermal wells. The regulatory program emphasizes the wise development of oil, natural gas and geothermal resources in the state through sound engineering practices that protect the environment, prevent pollution and ensure public safety.

According to the proponents, oil harvesting is bad for all living creatures and plants. You can imagine my dismay when I recently took a tour of cyclic steaming operations in the hills of Orcutt. I was impressed with what I saw — highly efficient, clean, well-maintained oil wells/production on land that was also grazed by cattle. Adjacent to the oil wells, farmers are growing strawberries, row crops and vineyards. How could that be? Don’t the farmers know how bad oil operations are? The answer is, it is not bad for people, animals or crops. Simply put: Oil harvesting is safe and highly regulated.

Measure P proponents also tell us that fresh water is being used in oil extraction. Balderdash again! In fact, no fresh water is used in cyclic steaming.

I recently traveled to Washington, D.C. Imagine my surprise when walking by the EPA and Department of Energy that I didn’t see a single wind turbine! Not one! I also saw very few, if any, solar panels atop the huge buildings.

The facts about Measure P are clear. If Measure P passes, we will lose over 1,000 good-paying jobs. We will lose almost $300 million a year in economic activity. Local schools and county services will take a multimillion-dollar hit. The potential threat of unconstitutional “takings” lawsuits, for which the county has no liability insurance, could possibly bankrupt Santa Barbara County. We will further lose our energy independence to countries such as Iraq and Russia, from whom California buys 60 percent of its oil.

It is time to call Balderdash on the proponents of Measure P. They have given us a drastic, flawed and costly Measure P.

Vote no on Measure P for our county, our families and our kids.

Scott W. Dunn
Santa Maria

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