CVA has endorsed the Healthy Air and Water Initiative, MEASURE P on the November 2014 ballot. It would prohibit the County of Santa Barbara from approving “high intensity petroleum operations” such as fracking, acidization and cyclic steam injection. The Initiative was proposed in response to the rapid increase in applications to pursue these practices locally in the unincorporated areas of the County. These projects threaten air and water quality, water supplies, agriculture, scenic vistas, wildlife and contribute to climate change. Click here to learn more about MEASURE P.
Campaign to Save Our Water, Health and Environment
from the Santa Barbara Water Guardians…
Santa Barbara County is under threat of a massive increase in oil production made possible through dangerous and polluting “enhanced” extraction techniques.
Help us fight back.
Oil companies have identified thousands upon thousands of potential drill locations across our region — from Santa Maria to Carpinteria.
This is not the conventional oil that we’ve been drilling for a hundred years. The only way to extract this oil is through the use of extreme extraction techniques including:
- Fracking: This technique involves injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to break up rock and extract oil and gas. The practice has been halted or banned in 12 states due to water contamination issues, earthquakes and other problems.
- Acidizing: This is similar to fracking, but instead of breaking up the rock, it uses hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid to melt the rock. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hydrofluoric acid is one of the most toxic chemicals in industrial use. The CDC lists it as a potential chemical weapon. The United Steelworkers want its use phased out of oil refineries entirely, calling it a risk too great for the steelworkers and the 26 million Americans living near refineries.
- Steam Injection: This water-intensive process involves steam-heating oil to 500 degrees to get it out of the ground. It is the most energy-intensive form of oil production and is linked to groundwater contamination. For instance, a recent 1+ million liter spill in Cold Lake, Canada contaminated a lake and aquifer. In the Orcutt oil field near Santa Maria, there have been 94 unexpected oil “seeps”. Sometimes it comes up in “violent eruptions.” In one case, a California oil worker was sucked into the ground and boiled alive. In another case, polluted water leached into groundwater and killed millions of dollars of almond orchards.
We must protect our County by placing a ban on these extreme extraction techniques.
Oil production generates very few jobs and puts stresses on the rest of our economy. Industrial oil production tends to crowd other things out. It competes with agriculture for land and water. It creates blight that discourages tourism and technology. It can negatively affect the value of adjacent properties and farms. It increases asthma and other chronic health problems, raising costs and crowding in health care facilities.