Fracking ban initiative to go before supervisors

Water Guardians’ proposal has more than enough signatures for Nov. ballot
2014-05-17T06:00:00Z 2014-05-21T10:02:33Z Fracking ban initiative to go before supervisorsStaff Report Santa Maria Times
May 17, 2014 6:00 am  • 

The Santa Barbara County Water Guardians’ proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and other high-intensity petroleum operations goes before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, with more than enough valid voter signatures to place the proposed ordinance on the Nov. 4 ballot.

But before the group’s initiative goes before the board, the local volunteer-run group will join the public and the Sierra Club of California at Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara today for a local Hands Across the Sand event. These events are aimed at raising awareness about the impacts of using different fuel sources and ways of transitioning the country to affordable clean energy. A Hands Across the Sand event will also take place today at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County.

The local events are two of hundreds taking place around the country and the world, but the local events take place amid discussions about the Water Guardians’ proposed local fracking ban and California’s proposed statewide fracking moratorium, known as SB 1132.

The Water Guardians collected approximately 16,000 signatures from registered Santa Barbara County voters, 3,000 signatures more than necessary to get its initiative on the upcoming ballot.

If passed, the initiative would ban fracking, cyclic steam injection and other forms of oil well stimulation in the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County. It would not pertain to existing projects or those projects using traditional oil drilling techniques.

The Board of Supervisors will receive a report on the proposed ban on May 20 and may vote the initiative directly into law or choose to put it on the Nov. 4 ballot. The board can also order a report on the ban’s possible impact on the county. The report would need to be presented no later than June 17.

According to group leaders, Santa Barbara County Water Guardians proposed the local ban to protect the county’s water and air quality as well as the health of residents and other local industries, such as tourism and agriculture. But those in the petroleum industry argue that the ban could cost the county jobs and property tax revenue.

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(7) Comments

  1. Catskinner
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    Catskinner - May 20, 2014 7:44 pm
    Where did you get this misinformation?
    Total bs...
  2. Catskinner
    Report Abuse
    Catskinner - May 20, 2014 7:43 pm
    Where do you get this misinformation??
    Total bs
  3. Catskinner
    Report Abuse
    Catskinner - May 20, 2014 6:41 pm
    This initiative will be brought to the voters. It also needs extensive voter education. Hydro-fracturing is not steam injection is not acidification.
    Those are three very distinct and different well production stimulation methods that would be prevented by this possible legislation. Under this initiative, only the oil that freely flows from the well will be allowed to be produced. That quantity in Santa Barbara county is zero... This is a poorly written initiative that will kill oil production in the county and with that the jobs, tax revenue, and ancillary income for thousands of county residents and their families.
    Don't pass a bad law.....
  4. kmd
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    kmd - May 18, 2014 9:45 pm
    The bigger risk to jobs is extreme oil extraction as it could damage agriculture and tourism and make our area generally less attractive to business. It also brings down property values, which brings down tax revenue.

    Then there's the potential links to asthma, cancer, birth defects,earthquakes... Let's hope the ban goes through!
  5. Joe DiMaggio
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    Joe DiMaggio - May 18, 2014 7:39 pm

    Although I favor an 'all of the above' energy strategy, I assert we must proceed very carefully with fracking.

    Arguably, a ban on fracking could come at the cost of increased production in the short term, it could open things up in the long term.

    While a ban is implemented, we will have a chance to allow other, less careful communities, a chance to see the long- term effects of fracking.

    As you know, there are documented accounts of fracking causing problems with the underground aquafir, as well as possibly causing earthquakes.

    I expect to be attacked by the usual trolls who wants to jump before measuring the depth of the water, but even they know our beautiful central coast environment ought naught to be the trial community.

    I support the ban on fracking.


    Uncle Joe :-)

  6. Blockman
    Report Abuse
    Blockman - May 18, 2014 11:33 am
    Yes let's ban this and cost our area jobs and tax revenue. All the environmentalist seem to be folks from other areas that have plenty of money to pay for increased energy costs their efforts are going to bring. If they all have their way, "clean" energy is going to run average folks hundreds of extra dollars a month in bills. The only ones that win are the wealthy and the ones getting free stuff from my wallet
  7. Joe DiMaggio
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    Joe DiMaggio - May 17, 2014 6:55 am
    I will have to seriously consider supporting a fracking ban.

    The big oil companies have brought this on themselves. New York based energy company Santa Maria Energy has got involved in meddling, and this is what they get.

    What goes around, comes around.

    Joe :)

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