Friday, July 19, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 20

Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on February 5th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 49 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 49

Trolling for oil


The Canary

If you could invite one guest to the State of the Union address to make a political statement, who would it be? A DACA Dreamer? A Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution employee who was forced to work without pay? How about someone who served at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Morro Bay?

Let’s face it, I’m talking to the liberals out there. I’m not shy.

Democrats took this moment to make a political statement against our fake fair-haired president by trolling him with their plus-one State of the Union Address guests. It was the equivalent of throwing a gigantic temper tantrum against Donald Trumplethinskin’s trolling ways—and I kind of wish that everyone would just grow the hell up.

California Sen. Kamala Harris took a furloughed air traffic controller who lost her home during the 2017 fires. Nice pick. I can dig it.

U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal apparently couldn’t find anyone who was actually adversely affected by Trump’s policies to troll with, so he took the next best thing. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County CEO Erik Talkin because he wanted to highlight how Americans live “in general, paycheck to paycheck” and apparently couldn’t find anyone who might actually live paycheck to paycheck.

Santa Barbara County has the third highest poverty rate in the state! There are better ways to make that statement than to take a person who made $155,000 plus benefits in 2016 (according to the nonprofit’s Form 990).

You know what would have been great? To find a fisherman affected by the 2015 oil spill near Refugio State Park, when that Plains All American pipeline burst and spilled more than 100,000 gallons of crude onto the coast, shutting down fisheries for months. You know why? That infamous Trump administration goal of opening up the coastline to offshore drilling and Plains All American’s recent public push to rebuild 100 miles of pipeline through the counties that Carbajal represents.

That would have been real environmental.

The pipeline project symbolizes so many things to activists on the Central Coast, including an excuse to get crazy against Big Oil!

“Plains doesn’t deserve a chance to spill again,” Center for Biological Diversity organizer Blake Kopcho told us. Ooh, Blake, very dramatic. But it’s also true. Plains has a crappy track record, and I don’t think these activists are going to give this project the time of day, even with the carefully worded statements from the pipeline company.

Steve Greig, Plains All American’s director of governmental affairs, told us that Plains understands the “importance of the Pacific Ocean.” It covers 30 percent of the Earth’s surface and is the largest water mass on the planet. Important is an understatement, Greig my boy. I think the company might have figured that out in 2015, after the rupture shut down its money-making potential on the Central Coast—including Exxon’s offshore rigs that bring in that oily payload.

“We agree that we want to protect the environment,” Greig said.

Do you agree that they agree? There are so many lawsuits, violations, complaints, and hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil spills across the country that beg to differ. I think that Plains might forget about the environment and how important it is after it gets that pipeline up and running again.

The canary is totally trolling. Send your tips to

Weekly Poll
What do you think of the changes Santa Barbara County made to its cannabis ordinances?

It was too early to make any changes. The industry is still new.
The changes were necessary. Cannabis farms are ruining our quality of life.
The changes are too restrictive and could stifle a growing industry.
More changes are needed to address the odor problems and other issues.

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