Nor is Santa Maria Energy the only company making big investments in these carbon-intensive forms of oil production. One Chinese mining company, Beijing-based Goldleaf Jewelry Co, just invested $665 million and is ramping up production in North County. The Water Guardian’s Initiative would protect the air, water and environment that make the County a desirable place to work and live from these outside speculators.
Santa Barbara County should take a lead in rejecting the most polluting forms of oil production and transitioning to clean sources of energy. Of all the things we can do locally in regard to climate change, this would have the highest impact and is critically important at this time. The stakes could not be greater. Our actions now will determine the future liveability of the planet.
Dr. Catherine Gautier is professor emerita with the Geography Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was one of 21 climate scientists who signed a letter to Governor Jerry Brown calling for a halt to fracking and other unconventional well stimulation techniques in the state due to climate concerns. She is also co-author of a recent academic book on fracking and Shale gas extraction published in November 2013 by Odile Jocob, France.