Dear Supervisors Janet Wolf and Salud Carbajal,
In your letter published in the Santa Barbara News-Press on June 28, you fail to address a critical core question: What are the oft-mentioned “renewables” to which you refer? Are they wind, solar, nuclear, hydroelectric, etc.?
You have also arrogated to Santa Barbara virtual authorship of the Clean Air and Water Acts, the California Coastal Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (wow!) and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA was formed by Richard Nixon in 1970) — all supposedly as a result of the 1969 Gaviota oil spill. In fact, the California Coastal Commission was formed as a result of a controversy surrounding the development of Sea Ranch in Sonoma County, not Santa Barbara.
To put the record straight, the birth of our water acts occurred in the 1880s and 1890s when Congress directed the USAC to stop dumping and filling in of the nation’s harbors. Elements of these actions can be found in similar legislation today. In 1912, 1924, 1948, 1965 and 1972, legislation was enacted that furthered the purpose of the initial water acts. These, as you can see and with the exception of one, preceded 1969.
Claims you have made against oil are repudiated as follows: First, natural seeps account for 62 percent of annual releases, 4 percent from oil transportation and 1 percent from oil consumption. Neither the 1969 nor the current Refugio spills even rank in the national surveys of spills, leaks and dumps over the last 50 years.
Due to the inevitable necessity of oil and its byproducts, it is statistically predictable that certain spills will take place.
It is further well known that although the seeps release large volumes of oil each year, the surrounding ecosystem adapts and even thrives because the rate of release is very slow.
Since your article contains so many acronyms (CAW, CCA, EPA, CCE, PG&E, SCE and IOU) one is easily confused as to what is the source of your authority.
But let’s concentrate on the CCE idea and what you mean by “renewables.” This is a central question. Without clarification, you invalidate your theory about the benefits to consumers. So, I wonder why, throughout a rather confusing aggregation of justifications for the CCE, you never define the core source of renewable energy. The word “renewable” is simply not enough to gull readers into thinking their energy costs will drop and their communities will become energy utopias.
Or, was this a political statement to reassure voters in 2016 that at least one of you seeking a congressional seat was deeply concerned about energy resources?
Please acknowledge that currently available renewables on a large scale are not feasible and that oil (I agree we have to get rid of it someday) cannot be replaced now.
Speaking of feasible, I note that you have endorsed an expense with taxpayer money to do yet another feasibility study to determine what we already know. There are also hints that other studies, departments, agencies might be created. Please obtain Chinese grants for these dead-ends and not use taxpayer dollars.
You, Supervisor Carbajal, “serve” on 16 governmental and nongovernmental boards. If you are really active, spur action and take a leading role as a board member should, when do you have time for the county’s business or renewable energy sources that might even serve the nation? Or are your board positions chair-warmers? Or gradually developed credentials for your congressional bid?
Be honest and accurate with your facts and advice to constituencies.