Many spoke at a recent Board of Supervisors hearing on ExxonMobil’s proposal to restart oil production off the Gaviota coast. Among them was Andy Caldwell of COLAB. He said that if the oil doesn’t come from local sources, companies will still find a way. “It will come from another part of the world,” Mr. Caldwell said.
Andy is not always right, but about this, he sure was. With these three platforms remaining shut, our need for imported oil will increase by one-sixth of 1 percent. That’s literally a drop in the barrel. And it’s a small cost to pay so we here in Santa Barbara County don’t take on the huge risks associated with restarting oil operations along our coast and the dangerous trucking of flammable materials.
There are real and significant advantages to our county if these platforms stay closed. Up to 25,000 dangerous truckloads of oil each year will not be sharing Hwy. 101 with the rest of us. This will keep our roads and homes safer, and our air less polluted by diesel exhaust.
Our net imports of foreign oil are the lowest in over 60 years. We can surely add an additional piddling and theoretical amount to that total to protect our local tourism economy and jobs, the health of our air, and of our marine environment.
Our county supervisors would be wise and responsible to keep these platforms inactive and not allow this massive trucking of oil on our roads.