Wednesday, January 16, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 45

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on May 16th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 11 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 11

Keep oil, and keep it clean

By Glenn Battles - Santa Maria

In the past several weeks there have been several letters to the editor claiming the oil companies may, might, could contaminate our aquifer and the air we breathe, or disturb natural habitat as they drill for oil and gas, or inject wastewater back to where it was pumped from.

The oil fields are already there, and have been for decades. It makes economic sense to allow the operators to drill new wells where production already exists on existing pads, disturbing no new habitat, which would generate jobs, tax revenues (that the county desperately needs), and other economic activity in the county. Why should we surrender those jobs and economic benefits to other counties, states, or other countries when we could keep them here and operate under the strictest regulations in the nation, if not the world?

Since 1903 when the first oil well was drilled in the county, oil companies have used new technologies in cement and cementing to seal the well bore to prevent contamination to our aquifer. The oil companies are using the latest technologies to prevent or capture the carbons they acquire as they drill for oil or gas to keep it from our atmosphere. Because of these new technologies, the petroleum industry today is producing more oil and gas with fewer contaminants than they have in several decades.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t encourage the development of other energy sources—only that we shouldn’t cut off our nose to spite our face. Our economy and environment can benefit from both existing and alternative resources, so let’s not cut them off either.

As I have said many times before, let’s work with the petroleum industry to continue to develop new technologies that will keep our aquifer and atmosphere safer and free of contaminants as we are doing today.

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