Saturday, June 23, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on September 12th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 28

Dirty oil campaign

By Larry Bishop - Buellton

My friend in Orcutt recently received a letter from AERA asking for support to add 296 high pressure and temperature oil wells and waste-water injection wells to their facility upstream from Los Alamos in Cat Canyon. AERA is a limited liability oil company, created by Exxon/Mobile and Shell Oil, to extract oil locally while limiting their financial and environmental responsibilities.

The AERA letter falsely extols the financial and environmental benefits to our county. They tout all the donations they’ve made to local groups and only ask that North County folks rise up and support their project to the Board of Supervisors.

The AERA East Cat Canyon oil field sits at the headwaters of the San Antonio Creek watershed, which provides drinking water to Los Alamos and all the farms, ranches, vineyards, and residences downstream.

As a hazardous material specialist for 25 years, I have responded to many oil, gas, and wastewater spills in the East Cat Canyon area. I have found that often spill prevention and clean-up measures at these facilities are not adequately implemented unless costly enforcement action is imminent.

All oil wells and pipelines leak at some point in their lifetime, both above ground and at various locations underground. These wells and pipes pass through our drinking water aquifers.

It is time that we in the North County say no to any more irresponsible and high-risk oil extraction. Conventional oil extraction is lower risk. It is only a matter of time before these newer high-temperature, high-pressure wells leak into our drinking water. Then when Exxon and Shell skip town, who pays to clean up our water and land?

Let’s build more safe solar and wind-generated power and profit from these in North County.

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