An Insight into Measure P and Fracking
updated: Aug 19, 2014, 4:20 PM
[Ed note: The dedicated staff edited the Op-Ed with an updated format and the same content.]
By Lad Handelman, SOS Co-Founder
My primary interest has been and always will be the well-being of our community. I am the co-founder of SOS California, an organization tasked with making a difference through education, reducing ocean and atmospheric pollution.
I spent a long career as a construction diver/contractor, working on dams, bridges, oil installations, and biological surveys.
I have worked as an ocean environmentalist/aquaculturalist; re-seeding Santa Barbara Channel with abalone. I am co-founder of the Marine Mammal Consulting Group (protecting marine wildlife from industrial activities), and an activist supporting sea otters.
I am a community leader, taking an active educational role in the United Boys & Girls Clubs, Outlook Wheelchair Support Group, Maritime Museum, Historical Diving Society, and Santa Barbara City College.
The following is an opinion regarding the practice of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, in regard to recent local discussions.
AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATION
According to the US Energy Information Administration, even by year 2050, renewables will only supply 12% of US requirement (Source: US Energy Information Administration).
Unless we want nuclear or coal, we are stuck with gas and oil. There is no substitute.
California today must import 60% or 1.2 million barrels/day of the 2 million barrels consumed daily - mostly from unregulated hostile nations transported by million-barrel pollution-spewing foreign oil tankers. Each barrel we stop producing here means one more barrel having to come from somewhere else. More tankers mean more CO2 and more global warming.
GLOBAL WARMING REDUCED THANKS TO FRACKING
Fracking allowed production of huge amounts of natural gas allowing the replacement of coal as the primary source of fuel for US power plant electric generators. Thus CO2 emissions into the atmosphere have been significantly reduced.
What is fracking and why are many so fearful?
I am puzzled. When I investigated, here is what I found. Rock formations which are not naturally fractured prevent oil from flowing through. Fracking allows the oil to flow. This procedure, now making news, is being utilized for this reason in other regions.
Our own region’s type of rock, Monterey Shale, is already naturally fractured and therefore has never needed fracking. As fracking would be an unnecessary added expense and offers no advantage, oil producers have no need to frack nor intend to frack. Those spending millions to outlaw fracking begs the question “what’s all this about anyway?”
Are there other motives afoot?
POROUS MONTEREY SHALE ALLOWS OIL TO FLOW NATURALLY WITHOUT FRACKING
“SCARE TACTICS AND MEASURE P”
SANTA BARBARA NEWSPRESS VOICES - LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Friday, August 15, 2014
“The real issue… is that extreme and risky oil will destroy our County, pollute our water and air, increase cancer, birth defects and asthma, and make climate change worse. Measure P is the only thing that will protect us.”
Signed, Ms. X
MISINFORMATION - THE REAL CULPRIT
• Up until year 2006, Santa Barbarans were up in arms about oil-tarred beach pollution, wanting platforms to be pulled out. The monster, Big Oil was to blame… “MISINFORMATION”
• Then the real culprit was identified… the source of all this beach and atmospheric pollution was in fact Mother Nature, our infamous Natural Seeps – not the platforms.
• HERE WE GO AGAIN – Our Monterey Shale being naturally fractured has never needed fracking. For 40 years, onshore production methods have proven safe and uneventful, utilizing standard acidizing and steam protocols. No changes are planned.
• Out of nowhere have come claims that fracking is now intended and is dangerous. A new monster has been created…
• Is the same tar-on-the-beach scare scenario playing out again? “MISINFORMATION”
“P” AMOUNTS TO A BAN ON NEW PRODUCTION AND STOPPAGE OF EXISTING PRODUCTION
The Santa Barbara County Impact Analysis Report (County Auditor) confirms that none of the proposed oil and gas production wells in Santa Barbara County would use hydraulic fracturing. Yet this initiative would ban all new onshore and gas production in Santa Barbara County by prohibiting every method currently in use in the County to produce oil and gas. All oil and gas in the County is produced by re-injecting heated recycled drilling water or other non-drinkable, brackish water. Since the initiative prohibits both the use of steam or replacing of any substances into an oil or gas well, all future energy exploration would be banned.
IF MEASURE P GOES FORWARD AND OIL & GAS PRODUCTION IS STOPPED
The result will be the loss of 1,000 jobs, the direct loss of $20 million in property taxes directly affecting schools, fire protection and other vital public services, and the loss of $291 million to County economy each year (UCSB Economic Impact Study 2013). The question is… WHY? We cannot allow unfounded fear to drive the degradation of our vital services.
If you are interested in more on the subject of Measure P, BAN ON FRACKING, you may tune in to the public television program “Worthen One on One” channel 17, Tuesday 4 PM, Wednesday 5 PM. Lad Handelman and Dr. Lanny Ebenstein will be discussing various aspects of this issue.