Three more leaking oil wells of the Summerland coast are in line to be capped by July 1 of 2019.
State Lands Commission engineer Walter Scott joined State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) at Lookout Park Tuesday to go over aerial photos provided by Heal the Ocean’s Hillary Hauser. “The wildcatters were here first, the oil industry has taken no responsibility for the public health and safety of the people who live in this area,” said Jackson about the way the wells were abandoned. “It’s all be about their profits get in get out and they have left a mess.” Jackson’s $14- million bill to clean up old aging and leaking wells off Summerland and other coastal areas is paying off . She says there are an estimated 188 wells identified.
Already the leaking Becker well in Summerland has been capped. It produced oil that made it to shore and soiled the coastline, sand and produced an odor that led to citizen complaints.
“Most of the uncapped wells that exist in the state are right here in this channel and it effects the whole ecosystem,” said Jackson. One of the next well head sites is called Treadwell. It is straight out from the beach in deeper water than some others. It is also on top of a known earthquake fault. “By nature that’s been happening for hundreds of years and that’s how they knew where to drill ”
Joining in on the visit were students from the nearby Montecito academy.
They were carrying “thank you” signs for those cleaning up their beach from the contamination. Hauser told them, “Never under estimate the power of what you can say and send letters. It doesn’t matter how old you are say we need this we want this.”
One of the students was 16 and not far from a voting age. She was told her voice will be heard. “W ithout that voice, this planet is in jeopardy and we know that now with climate change and the fires we just experienced these things really put us at risk, you have to say no more of this,” said Jackson.
For more information on Heal the Ocean go to: https://www.healtheocean.org/
For more information on Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson go to: https://sd19.senate.ca.gov/