Thursday, May 25, 2017     Volume: 18, Issue: 12
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Should Santa Barbara County allow move oil excavation?

Absolutely, we need energy independence!
No, leave it in the ground!
Offshore needs to go, but on land is OK.
They should support the renewable energy industry instead.

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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 15th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 50 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 17, Issue 50

Political Watch 2/16/17

• Following President Donald Trump’s executive order signed on Jan. 27, banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East, California Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a bill, the Access to Counsel Act, that would guarantee access to counsel for those detained at the border and ports of entry. The act does four things: affirms the right to counsel at the time of holding or detention; allows an attorney to confer with their client via telephone or video conference if unable to meet personally; invalidates efforts by immigration enforcement officials to persuade someone to relinquish their legal status if access to counsel is denied; directs immigration enforcement officials to limit detention to the briefest term and least restrictive conditions possible; and includes access to food, water, and restroom facilities. Companion legislation to Harris’ bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).

Salud Carbajal (D), U.S. representative for California’s 24th Congressional District, has had a busy first month in Congress. On Jan. 30, Carbajal introduced his first piece of legislation, the California Clean Coast Act, which aims to permanently ban future offshore oil and gas drilling off the coast of California. On Feb. 7, he joined the LGBT Equality Caucus in Congress, whose purpose is to promote equal rights for and eliminate hate and violence toward those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and improve the health and well-being for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bipartisan caucus includes 102 members, including six openly LGBT members. Then on Feb. 9, Carbajal had some words for Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East—which was recently shot down by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 9. “Today’s ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, denying the reinstatment of the president’s unconstitutional ban, is a victory for American values and for our national security,” Carbajal, who is an immigrant from Mexico, said in a statement. “This decision reinforces the critical role of the judiciary in maintaining checks and balances of power.” A three-judge panel on the court unanimously upheld a restraining order blocking the federal government from enforcing Trump’s order that bans immigrants and refugees from Somalia, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, and Sudan.

• California State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D), who represents the 19th District on the Central Coast, recently re-introduced the Coastal Oil Well Clean Up and Remediation Act, or Senate Bill 44. The Act would require that the California State Lands Commission plug “orphaned” wells in state waters drilled by companies that have gone out of business and can’t be held responsible for leaks. Jackson originally introduced the bill in 2016, but it was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Research by the commission identified approximiately 200 such wells, most of which are located near Summerland and Ellwood beaches in South County. SB 44 would set aside $2 million each year to fund the remediation of additional abandoned wells.

Jordan Cunningham (R-Templeton), assemblyman for California’s 35th District, has been appointed to serve on five standing committees for his first year in the state Legislature. They include: the Rules Committee, which considers proposed amendments to the rules and other matters relating to the business of the Legislature; the Judiciary Committee, which deals with family law, product and tort liability, and other legal matters; Committee on Public Safety; Business and Professions Committee; and the Elections and Redistricting Committee. Cunningham also announced that he hired Jocelyn Brennan, a longtime San Luis Obispo County resident, to serve as his district director.