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Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on February 7th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 49 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 49

Checks, balances?

Hey, there it is! Some of that “deference” that the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on the North side of the dias have been looking for regarding oil!

Everybody got along and made a grown-up decision across party lines. Isn’t that neat? It’s not a giant pipeline that ERG Operating Company wants to build in Cat Canyon—not anywhere near the size of the Plains All American Pipeline rebuild that the board will decide on—so it really wasn’t that difficult of a decision.

The Foxen Petroleum Pipeline is in Steve Lavagnino’s district, the 5th, which includes a plenty of oil industry. He was about ready to hug it out with ERG at the Jan. 30 meeting, thanking the company several times for taking oil tankers off the country road.

Fourth District Supe Peter Adam said he owns a farm out near Cat Canyon, adding that he’d rather see a pipeline there than the dozens of oil tanker trucks.

It makes sense, just like the numerous concerns from Das Williams, Joan Hartmann, and Janet Wolf. Can the pipeline be easily shut down? How long does it take before ERG would know there’s a leak in the pipeline? All of that is important too.

It’s nice to see some cordiality regarding oil after the Jan. 30 meeting, which included a proclamation against expanded offshore oil leases in Santa Barbara County, with the Southside Supes outvoting the Northside Gang, 3-2. Lavagnino and Adam weren’t happy about that, but they’re happy now.

That’s the point of representative government you know. There’s a place for both sides precisely because they provide checks and balances. Now, our county supervisors aren’t always so agreeable, but don’t you think some of our national institutions should take it as an example?

How about the U.S. House of Representatives, and the House Intelligence Committee’s decision to release a memo by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) alleging misconduct at the FBI after President Donald Trump approved releasing the three-page document against the behest of House Democrats, the FBI, and the Department of Justice. You know, Trump, the president who’s under investigation by the FBI, and Nunes, the guy who was caught coordinating with the White House last year and had to recuse himself from the committee’s investigation into election meddling by Russia.

I never thought I’d live to see the Republican Party at open war with law enforcement. So is Trump’s White House refusing to impose sanctions on Russia after Congress approved legislation to do so in retaliation for cyber attacks on the American electoral process.

This is all after Trump fired just about everybody at the DOJ when he took office. That includes former Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired after she warned the White House that National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was compromised by Russia. Then he fired the FBI Director James Comey after he pressured the guy to “let Flynn go,” and reportedly floated plans to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller who was appointed after Comey’s firing by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

I wonder how often Rosenstein looks over his shoulder when entering or leaving a building?

And now, the Trump administration’s Bureau of Prisons is slashing funding for federal penitentiaries, moving over as many inmates as possible to the private prison industry.

That includes at the Lompoc Penitentiary, you know, that place some dude just walked out of a couple weeks ago. I’m not sure that what the Lompoc Pen needs right now is fewer staff positions and less money. It might make it easier for someone to just mosey on out again. 

The Canary wonders what’s coming next. Send your thoughts to canary@santamariasun.com.




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