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Santa Barbara County board of supervisors votes to approve resolution opposing oil drilling


The Santa Barbara County board of supervisors is taking a stand against the Trump administration.

The resolution was sponsored by First District County Supervisor Gregg Hart in response to the Trump Administration’s plan to open more than one million acres of lands throughout the coastal and interior regions of central California to new oil drilling and fracking.

On Tuesday morning, supervisors voted 3-2 to approve a resolution opposing an oil drilling and fracking plan.

Under the plan, federal public lands in Santa Barbara County could be leased for oil and gas drilling.

The board’s vote is symbolic, because they can’t actually prevent the plan from moving forward.

Within days, the Trump Administration is expected to finalize a study that will initiate the opening of federal lands and mineral estate across eight counties, including 122,000 acres in Santa Barbara County in or adjacent to Los Padres National Forest, school campuses, Lake Cachuma, Jalama Beach, Refugio Pass, Ken Adam Park, Drum Canyon, Nojoqui County Park, Vandenberg Air Force Base, the City of Lompoc, and more.

In anticipation of the proposal’s impacts to local resources, the Cities of San Luis Obispo and Ojai passed similar resolutions over the summer, and the City of Carpinteria is expected to consider one later this month.

Over the weekend, the Governor took steps to oppose the plan with the signing of AB 342, a law that bars the construction of pipelines or other oil and gas infrastructure to be built on state property to serve federal oil leases.

“Santa Barbara County residents and visitors alike recognize the value of preserving and protecting our federal public lands for generations to come,” said Supervisor Gregg Hart.

Jeff Kuyper and Rebecca August with Los Padres ForestWatch received the resolution.

“We applaud our elected leaders who are stepping up to do what they can to protect public health, clean water, and our environment,” said Executive Director Kuyper. “This plan threatens our region’s most iconic places, Los Padres National Forest, Carrizo Plain National Monument, Sequoia National Park, Montaña de Oro, the Pacific Crest Trail and others. It’s critical that agencies use all available tools to protect these community resources as well as wildlife habitat.”

KEYT 2019

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