Friday, March 6, 2015     Volume: 15, Issue: 52
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Weekly Poll
What do you think of all the oil drilling project proposals starting to line up in Santa Barbara County?

Bring it on!
We should have passed Measure P.
The county needs to regulate GHG emissions.
I'll be lining up to fight against them.

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Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

Caldwell is wrong 
about me (and oil)

Katie Davis - Goleta -

Andy Caldwell attacks me personally in his paid “op-ad” which is full of outright lies, offensive innuendos, and ridiculous conspiracy theories (“Green, Gullible and Guilty,” Feb. 12). Why does he single me, a private citizen, out for attack? Apparently just for my volunteer work as a concerned mom worried about climate change and pollution.

350.org is an organization dedicated to action on climate change. The name comes from the 350 part per million that scientists say is the safe upper limit on carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to avoid catastrophic climate change. There is a local chapter (350sb.org), and they do great work. However, contrary to Caldwell’s claims, I am not the founder or leader of that organization.

Caldwell claims 350.org is part of a “cabal” that got money from the Sea Change foundation, which in turn got money from someone else who got money from someone else with a Russian connection and therefore, he bizarrely concludes, I’m a Russian stooge and traitor. I can find no evidence that 350.org got any money from this foundation. The organizations it did fund work on advancing clean energy and energy efficiency. If they were secretly working on behalf of Russian oil and gas companies, why would they be working to get us off oil and gas? Russia has jailed members of Greenpeace and is hostile to environmental organizations. We don’t use any Russian oil or gas, so the whole conspiracy theory makes no sense whatsoever (2 percent of our oil and 0 percent of our gas in California comes from Russia.)

Environmental organizations in the United States are concerned about the environment—making sure we have drinkable water, breathable air, and a habitable planet for our children. It’s that simple.

Along with hundreds of other local citizens, I volunteered on the Measure P campaign, which would have halted fracking and other extreme oil extraction in the county. The money funding the campaign (around $400,000) is a public record and mostly came from hundreds of small donations from mostly local citizens. It was the very definition of grassroots. In contrast, the opposition spent $7 million, mostly from Chevron and other global oil companies. This was more money than was spent in any congressional race in California. It was 
more than Neil Kashkari spent on the governor’s race!

Oil companies are spending record sums in an attempt to buy our elections, dismantle regulations, and smear concerned citizens who call for transitioning to cleaner sources of energy to achieve energy independence without polluting our water and air and making global warming worse.

Caldwell, who is paid by oil companies through COLAB, opposes clean energy and attacks even the pope for his concern for the poor and global warming. His personal attacks and lies are an attempt to silence people, and that is simply wrong.