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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 7:50 am | Mostly Cloudy 48º


Rally at Courthouse to Protest Plans for Local Drilling, Fracking

A rally to speak out against a Trump Administration plan to expand drilling and fracking across 122,000 acres in Santa Barbara County is scheduled for noon Thursday, Oct. 11, in front of the County Courthouse in Santa Barbara.

The event is being organized by local elected officials, business owners, schools and environmental and public health groups.

Featured speakers are Rep. Salud Carbajal; 3rd Dist. Supervisor Joan Hartmann; Jeff Kuyper, executive director, Los Padres ForestWatch; Charlotte Brownlee, Cate School director of admission and enrollment.

The rally follows an August announcement by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management launching a year-long study that will determine whether to allow drilling and fracking across 1.6 million acres of public land and federal mineral estate in eight central California counties, including Santa Barbara.

The agency received more than 8,000 responses during a 30-day comment period that ended in Sptember. Officials will release a draft Environmental Impact Statement in early 2019.

The BLM’s official scoping period ended Sept. 7, and a number of community members and stakeholders were not able to submit comments during this short time frame.

At the rally, Carbajal will provide details about how the public can continue to submit comments to BLM via his office.

The drilling and fracking plan targets key landmarks throughout Santa Barbara County, including:

The Santa Ynez Mountains, Purisima and Santa Rita Hills, Tepusquet Canyon, Cuyama Valley foothills, along Scenic Highway 154, all of Vandenberg Air Force Base, and lands near or next to Los Padres National Forest, San Rafael Wilderness, Sisquoc River, Lake Cachuma, and Cate School.

— Rebecca August for  Los Padres ForestWatch.


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