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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 9:21 pm | Fair 52º


Letter to the Editor: Measure P Would Bring Devastating Consequences

It is critical that we all turn out and vote no on Measure P in this November’s election. Measure P, if passed, will have devastating consequences.

Measure P is misleading. The proponents state that Measure P is needed because it bans fracking, but there is no fracking occurring in Santa Barbara County now and there are no plans for its use in the future. The Monterey Shale on which we sit is already naturally fractured.

What the measure really does is prevent proven extraction methods that have been safe in our county for decades. An entire industry will be shut down if this measure passes. It is estimated that over 1,000 good-paying jobs will be lost and the negative economic impact on our County will be in the $300 million per year range.

Of course with every drop of oil that cannot be extracted here, we become even more dependent on oil from politically unstable foreign countries in the Middle East. Global warming is only made worse by having to ship this oil around the globe in aging foreign-owned tankers. Moreover, the regulation of production in those countries is a far cry from the much more stringent standards in place in California and Santa Barbara County.

The county counsel has told the Board of Supervisors that he expects a flood of lawsuits from mineral rights owners who are no longer able to drill for oil. This is an inevitable consequence if Measure P were to pass because of the takeaway of the value of these rights. Where is our county going to get the money to pay for those lawsuits and added bureaucracy that will need to be in place?

We are just now clawing our way out of the recession. Why in the world would we pass a measure that will just put us back in the middle of one here in Santa Barbara County?

Please join me in voting no on Measure P, and please ask all your friends to do the same thing.

Mike Gibson
Santa Maria

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