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Santa Barbara County Fracking Ban Initiative, Measure P (November 2014)
|Voting on Fracking|
|Not on ballot
If approved, this measure would prohibit what are called "high intensity" oil and gas operations such as fracking, acid well stimulation treatments and cyclic steam injection. The measure would not impede conventional drilling or "low intensity" operations. The group called the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians filed its initiative and a notice of intent to circulate with the Santa Barbara County Registrar on March 23, 2014, and planned to officially kick off the petition drive at an event on April 5, 2014. They need 13,200 valid signatures before May 7, 2014, to qualify the initiative for the November ballot.
- The group behind the initiative is called the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians.
- 350 Santa Barbara
- The San Francisco-based Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP law firm drafted the initiative language. This firm was also responsible for the text of the initiative currently being circulated in San Benito County.
Arguments in favor
Proponents of the measure argue that fracking and other high intensity oil extraction methods have dangerous and harmful side effects such as:
- wasting precious water needed by California
- potentially causing earth quakes
- polluting water sources and air
- chemical side effects inimical to the health of county residents and animals
Rebecca Claassen, a member of the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians, said, “Using these technologies, the petroleum industry would gain increased access to oil resources lying below our homes, farms and natural areas. The impacts and risks associated with high-intensity petroleum operations are too great for Santa Barbara County residents to accept. In order to protect local resources and interests, we want to prohibit this land use before it further endangers human health and the environment in Santa Barbara County.”
- Santa Maria Energy
Bob Poole, a spokesperson for Santa Maria Energy, claimed that the initiative proposed by the Water Guardians is just an attempt to curtail oil production and is not actually about fracking. He pointed towards California Senate Bill 4, statewide legislation on oil extraction practices, as the best way to address the contentious issue. Poole, referring to the Water Guardians, said, “Good decision making should be based on objective facts and science. They need to follow the science-based approach the governor and the state of California are taking on this issue, there is a scientific study underway … why don’t they get behind that instead of trying to jump ahead of science?”
Path to the ballot
In Santa Barbara County, if sufficient signatures are submitted, an initiative ordinance may be enacted by the county supervisors. If they choose not to enact the ordinance unaltered, it is sent to the ballot to let voters have the final decision.
The Santa Barbara Water Guardians, who are behind this initiative, have until May 7, 2014, to submit a minimum of 13,200 signatures to the Santa Barbara County Registrar of Voters. If the sufficiency of the petition is certified, county supervisors will either enact the initiative or put it on the November 4, 2014 election ballot.
- See also: Notable 2014 local measures
Denton, Texas (November 2014)
Athens, Ohio Issue 7 (November 2014)
Santa Barbara, California Measure P (November 2014)
San Benito County, California Measure J (November 2014)
Mendocino County, California Measure S (November 2014)
Gates Mills, Ohio Issue 51 (November 2014)
Youngstown, Ohio Issue 4 (November 2014)
Kent, Ohio Issue 21
City of Niles "Community Bill of Rights" Fracking Ban Initiative (November 2014)
City of Loveland Two Year Fracking Suspension Initiative, Question 1 (June 2014)
Youngstown "Community Bill of Rights" Fracking Ban Charter Amendment (May 2014)
Johnson County Fracking Ban Referendum (March 2014)
- Local fracking on the ballot
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in California
- Santa Barbara County, California ballot measures
- Santa Barbara Water Guardians website
- Santa Barbara Water Guardians facebook page
- Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP law firm website
- 350 Santa Barbara website
- Archived Santa Barbara Independent, "Santa Barbara County Water Guardians Files Initiative to Ban Fracking in Santa Barbara County," March 23, 2014
- Lompoc Record, "Group kicks off petition for fracking ban initiative," March 20, 2014
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Cite error: Invalid
- 350 Santa Barbara website, accessed March 31, 2014
- California Legislature website, California Senate Bill 4 information, accessed March 24, 2014
- Santa Maria Sun, "Archived Local group files a voter initiative to ban fracking in Santa Barbara County," March 24, 2014