Commentary: Vote no on Measure G

On the ballot, it’s listed as Measure G-18, an ordinance to prohibit any new petroleum extraction and all well stimulation treatments, as defined in the full-text of the measure, including hydraulic fracturing and acid well stimulation on all lands within the unincorporated area of the county.

Proponents stress that it will ban fracturing, the process of injecting fluids deep into wells to fracture rock formations to allow extraction of oil and gas released by the process which otherwise would not be an economically viable operation. They insist that the ordinance only bans “new wells” without effect on existing operations. Proponents also point to money being spent by the oil industry to “protect their profits” ostensibly at the expense of safe drinking water for SLO County residents. Fear plays a part in their campaign along with a very deceptive message minimizing the probable economic harm to the county.

Measure G is not just bad law; it’s based upon bad science and is coupled with the underlying campaign to destroy the fossil fuel industry not only in California but throughout the nation. It’s backed by outside environmental lobbying groups with extremist agendas that would destroy the American economy and the quality of life for all but the wealthiest of Americans. It would certainly benefit the enemies of Western Civilization, such as Russia whose economy is built on oil and gas exports, the profits of which prop up not only their miniscule economy but fund Putin’s massive nuclear arms build-up.

The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity with its $300 million plus budget is supporting Measure G and similar laws around the nation. Their stated goal is the destruction of the fossil fuels industry. Through various financial cut-outs, they receive money from Russian-backed sources to contribute funding for initiatives such as Measure G. Their literature betrays their intent to bring down America by forcing ordinary Americans into a life of government regulated scarcity. Economic mobility and hope for a better life for future generations would be a footnote in history in the world they would create.

The money aside, Measure G wouldn’t simply ban new wells, it will, within three to five years, obliterate the oil and gas industry in SLO County. Proponents know that oil leases aren’t simply for a single well but for a field of oil. Well pressure varies over time and well maintenance procedures require periodic injection of fluids to keep them operating or sometimes to be shut down as new wells are drilled to extract oil/gas from areas where underground pressure is insufficient to continue operations. Each new well requires a new permit even though it involves an existing oil/gas lease. Measure G prohibits the issuance of new permits thereby eventually shutting down oil/gas extraction operations.

The ordinance also bans fracking even though fracking isn’t used in SLO County due to existing geology which doesn’t require fracking; never has, never will. It is however, a good scare tactic to get voters to support Measure G as fracking has been given a bad name by a sympathetic, though often uninformed media looking for headlines or ratings. (The EPA has issued numerous reports exonerating fracking from contaminating water supplies and authorizes it in many locales throughout the nation but facts matter little to those with a radical agenda.)

The cost of loss of the oil and gas industry in SLO County will immediately cause the loss of hundreds of head-of-household jobs, especially in South County. The cost will not be immediately felt by taxpayers but in time will cost school districts and local government agencies millions of dollars in lost tax base and economic activity. Coupled with the loss of Diablo Canyon’s 1500 jobs, the restriction and eventual shutdown of off-road vehicle tourism at the Dunes, the eventual shutdown of the Phillips 66 refinery operations (next on the environmental lobby’s list) and SLO County will lose virtually every major private-sector employer paying head-of-household salaries.

The underlying junk-science employed by the environmental lobby works well to frighten people. We are continually inundated with breathless reports of the latest “evidence” of a catastrophically warming climate. A casual reading of their failed predictions of environmental catastrophe such as “die offs” of millions of people (predicted to occur over 20 years ago), flooded coastal cities by rises in sea level of 10 or more meters (actual rise is measured in fractions of inches) and monster, unprecedented hurricanes and storms fed by an overheated atmosphere and oceans are continually hyped. Every severe storm is “unprecedented.” A little history and real science debunks all of the above. The National Hurricane Center has emphatically stated that there is no pattern of increasing intensity of hurricanes and in fact, the last 50 years have been ordinary compared to the storms terrorizing the first half of the 20th century.

Finally, the biggest disaster to affect California was a flood that occurred in the winter of 1861-62. Between six and seven feet of rain fell over a 45-day period, massively flooding the State from Sacramento to Los Angeles. The entire Central Valley was under water in a lake that was 60 miles wide and over 275 miles long, flooded to a depth from 8 to 30 feet deep. The waters didn’t recede for almost a year; it bankrupted the state. It was followed by four years of drought. No climate change involved here as the industrial revolution had barely got off the ground; just California weather. Vote no on Measure G-18.

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