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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 7:39 am | Overcast 45º


Ron Fink: Do Our Local Elected Officials Really Think Getting Rid of Oil Is a Good Idea?

Local “leaders” like county supervisors Doreen Farr, Janet Wolf and Salud Carbajal, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, Assemblyman Das Williams and Rep. Lois Capps have all taken strong public positions supporting environmental activists and opposing the oil industry, but do they really want to get rid of oil?

Each of them lives in a world that relies on petroleum for almost every aspect of their everyday lives. When these folks and their supporters wake up in the morning, they are surrounded with petroleum products — the clock that awakened them probably has a plastic case, the bed they sleep in is probably coated with a product that has petroleum constituents and the morning products they use to prepare for the day all contain some form of petroleum.

In fact, the houses they live in include many petroleum products in the carpet, window and door frames, and if they are true believers, the solar panels on their roof also contain petroleum products. Of course, all the plumbing, the wires that carry electricity, cable TV and their cell phones all use contain those same petroleum products.

Now it’s off to work. Even if they use one of those environmentally friendly short-range battery-powered cars, they are surrounded with petroleum products, and if they drive a fuel-efficient model they still use fuel. When they get to wherever it is they work, once again they are surrounded by petroleum products.

After work, when they are attending one of those fundraisers for Get Oil Out, the Environmental Defense Center or any of the other groups that strongly oppose oil and seem to dictate what legislation they will propose or how they will vote on oil-related issues, they once again are surrounded by oil.

If they were true believers in the cause, why don’t they try living without oil for a month? If they honestly believe in their quest to rid Santa Barbara County and California of oil production, why don’t they demonstrate to us commoners how life would be if they are successful? Probably because they would be out-of-touch and have to live in a cave, that’s why.

These folks are simply misguided in their beliefs. If they were to channel their energy toward trying to balance the budget, protect their constituents from the health and safety threats posed by illegal immigration, reduce regulatory constraints on commerce or even fix the roads so we can move goods from where they are made to where they are needed, their time would be better spent.

Maybe they should just listen to common folks who are just trying to maintain a good quality of life.

When you launch an all-out assault on a product we use in our everyday lives, it has some serious consequences. For example, conservation efforts perpetuate rate increases because if you sell less water, natural gas or electricity, it costs more to produce and deliver it. Compare your utility bills for the last few years. Mine have increased substantially because we are saving the environment.

And get ready for a substantial increase in fuel prices for your car or truck. Next year it is estimated that pump prices will increase anywhere from 20 cents to $1.30 per gallon due to new energy taxes! The direct impact is in your wallet when you refuel so you can get to work, but the other impact is in the price you pay for the things you need — like food and medicine — to survive.

When you back away and evaluate the impact of these politicians' war on oil and those who use it, you can see a consistent pattern of abusing the people they serve. Instead of trying to help common people improve their lot in life, they seem hell bent on bankrupting the American family.

What exactly have the haters of oil accomplished by trying to ban oil production? First is the most obvious: the loss of jobs, then the loss of business for local contractors and vendors, and the loss of general fund revenue. Then there is the loss of our quality of life.

What has changed other than the prices, taxes and fees we pay for services we need?

In all likelihood, their remedy for lost general fund revenue will simply be to increase taxes and fees, which seems to be their answer to everything.

Nationally we are forced to look elsewhere for oil because, like it or not, everything we do from the time we wake up in the morning until the time we settle in for the night is dependent on petroleum-based products.

There is an election coming up soon. Keep in mind which politicians are helping you and which squeeze every last dollar out of you. Elections matter, and even those people who support the ideas and political philosophies of liberal politicians still have to eat and raise their kids.

Think about it: Can you afford the war on oil?

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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