Monday, October 22 , 2018, 2:27 am | Fair 63º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Measure P Is Nothing More than Cunning Deception

As a senior citizen raised from birth on an oil lease, I may have a rather unique view of the hazards and rewards that are associated with oil production. The hazards seemed to be limited to such things as heavy equipment and trucks operating on the roads, pumping units with a myriad of moving parts, high-voltage electric lines and heat created by steam generators. None of these ever harmed me or my family.

To me as a child, these “hazards” were a part of my everyday playground. Having been taught to respect these hazards, they no longer created a danger to me. Ironically, my family bathed daily in the water coming from an aquifer located directly beneath the same lease property. We used water from that same source to grow pasture to feed our cattle, as well as to water our garden and lawn. And it would all have met today’s “Certified Organic” growing standards.

We cooked and heated our home using natural gas, which was a by-product of the oil production. And, most important, our family was well provided for by my father’s income, which was derived solely from the oil produced on the Needham-Bloomer and Vedder-Parkford leases in Kern County. No health issues developed from this daily exposure to crude oil, gas vapor and waste water. At a very young age, I learned personal responsibility by bleeding waste water from tanks and gauging the daily oil production. We also learned a great deal of common sense and developed a very healthy respect for the natural environment.

When I first began to hear about Measure P I thought that perhaps the folks behind this proposed regulation might simply be misguided and perhaps a bit disingenuous. Having done my homework by actually reviewing the proposed measure, I have concluded that what they really are is cunningly deceptive. The daily claims that are being made by these folks are totally specious. The claims are not fact-driven in spite of proponents contending that they are.

The proponents of this sham would have us believe that Measure P is a “pre-emptive measure for health and safety.” Nothing — absolutely nothing — could be further from the truth. The proponents are using the hyper-sensitivity that we have all developed during this period of prolonged drought to frighten the uninformed among us about our water supply and the quality of that supply. They are using “dirty air” as a scare tactic when in fact the air quality of Santa Barbara County continues to improve year after year — during a period when oil production has increased substantially. They talk about “fracking” when no fracking is actually being done here.

Don’t allow yourselves to be deceived. This proposed measure is a politically driven attempt to eliminate ... read that as destroy ... an industry that creates at least 1,000 direct jobs in this county, thousands more ancillary service jobs, and which contributes millions of dollars to education and general services.

Published in the Aug. 29 Bakersfield Californian was a story with this headline: Fracking Study May Allow Feds to Resume Lucrative Oil Leases in Kern County. The article went on to say that on Aug. 28 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management released an “independent scientific review of well stimulation activities in the state.” According to the newspaper, “The review by the nonpartisan California Council on Science and Technology found no instances of groundwater contamination, seismic activity or other significant detrimental environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing.”

While this article is not entirely germane to what is taking place in Santa Barbara County, where no fracking is being done, it does help to expose Measure P for what it really is, and that is an effort by hypocritical environmental extremists to rid Santa Barbara County of an entire industry.

The Santa Barbara County Counsel and the Board of Supervisors are already preparing for the anticipated onslaught of lawsuits that will follow if this measure passes in November. This measure is a boondoggle of the worst order and serves the needs of a small, overzealous segment of our population.

Do not be deceived. Do not allow yourself to be manipulated and misled by this pack of prevaricators. Do your homework and read the measure. Once you have done so I am confident that you will vote NO on Measure P.

Riley Parker
Orcutt

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