Dressclown's Blog


Big Slick May 24, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Stuff — dressclown @ 11:10 pm

It’s only funny if you think it’s not going to happen here. But it will if Venoco has it’s way, it will.

Venoco is a local Carpinteria based oil company that has long perpetrated the lie it’s a friendly, local entity. So friendly that it tricked locals into signing a petition against their proposed Paredon drilling project. Locals signed this petition thinking it was a campaign against a giant 175 foot oil drilling rig on the coastline near Rincon Point in Carpinteria.  Instead, the fine print which was never shown to locals, was a pure bait and switch and they used the signatures to get the proposal on the June 9th ballot.  They did this because they knew the city council would never approve such an ill-conceived and potentially disastrous drilling rig in such a pristine and highly populated area. Their only chance was to count on the fact that voter turnout on ballot initiatives is low. When they were caught doing this, they got a slap on the wrist and turned around and made up completely fabricated references for their company’s other projects. They literally made up people and quotes to put in their cover letter for their Environmental Impact Report.

Those for the drilling ignorantly believe that this will somehow mitigate our local dependence on foreign oil. In fact, EPA standards in California are such that we are not actually even allowed to sell Middle Eastern-origin oil. Instead, our cleaner oil comes from the very foreign country of…..Alaska? Yep. Alaskan oil is what we fill up with at the tank here.

So, let’s assume this proposal goes through. Let’s assume the drilling monolith is up, visible from all areas of Carpinteria. Before drilling has even begun, property values will have plummeted. Who wants to live near a loud, toxic monster clearly visible from your living room window when it was the pristine Pacific Ocean view before?  Tourism will suffer, if not be killed. Nobody will want to camp near that thing. Yet proponents say the project will bring us lots of revenue for our small city. If you consider $3 million over a three year period adequate compensation for about $15 million in lost tourism.  And this is only IF they hit oil. Because, believe it or not, they’re not even SURE IF THERE IS OIL DOWN THERE.  Now, we could assume that would be a win-win situation, that the oil isn’t there and they stop the project. Except that their proposal does not require them to remove the rig. It will remain, without maintenance or supervision, rusting away. Did I mention it’s 175 feet tall?

Venoco’s flawed and incomplete Environmental Impact Report also fails to address the protected Seal Rookery a mere 25 yards from the drill site. Currently, we cannot WALK on the beach within 25 yards of the seals. The pups rely on the protection of their mothers and the shelter from the beach coves. I can’t imagine how they can even begin to say that mere construction on the rig wouldn’t endanger the lives of the pups by scaring the mothers into the ocean.  Imagine the disaster if there were an actual leak. I doubt very much the liars at Venoco could be trusted to report a leak, let alone deal with it more efficiently than the leak that is going on in Louisiana.

It’s bad enough that we have to endure the almost monthly closure of some beaches in our area due to sewage contamination. Now we have this to contend with. None of us will be able to go out in the water again without the fear of toxic sediment and oil and if there is a spill, our beaches will be ruined not for a week or two, but for the length of most of our lives. The last oil spill in the early 1960s was off the coast of Summerland and started the modern anti-drilling movement. There is still tar washing up onshore from that spill.

If you live in Carpinteria, please vote against Measure J. And if you live outside of Carpinteria, please write to Venoco and tell them how unhappy you are that they are trying to push this unsafe project through in such an unethical manner.


6267 Carpinteria Avenue

Carpinteria, California 93013

Or go to Surfrider Foundation and let them know you think that opposing the Paredon Project is something they should take on as an official campaign.

Let’s not let what is happening in the gulf happen here. There are far higher costs than oil.


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