Saturday, May 30, 2015     Volume: 16, Issue: 12
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Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

No refuge at Refugio

Joey Racano - director, Ocean Outfall Group, Los Osos -

Just like car crash commercials that make us drive a little more slowly, it’s amazing how a spill of horrible black goo can shake you up when it lands on Refugio, where surfers carve waves with friendly dolphins not far behind. It was best said when a news chopper proclaimed, ‘no wildlife affected,’ just as three whales rose up to breathe through oil-snotted blowholes.

Why would human beings wreck such a slice of heaven? Electric cars are already on the highways. Patriotism? Not a chance, the latest oil wars killed 4,000 servicemen while doing nothing for safety or for the price of oil. And yet here we are, in the news again, at the wrong time (Memorial Day!), and for all the wrong reasons. Has the defeat of Measure P by big oil money come back to haunt us? Some might say yes. Especially those poor screeching oil-covered seabirds who never knew what hit them. And the same can be said for the octopus, fish, sea lions, and surfers who call this place home and liked it much better the way it looked before the spill.

Sadly, with big oil financially dominating elections, the Santa Barbara Fire Department fighting a fracking ban on TV, and the president of the Western States Petroleum Association as the former chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Marine Protected Areas, we should only expect more of the same.