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Oil Proposals in Santa Barbara County


“Right now, Santa Barbara County faces a tripling of onshore oil production, which threatens our clean energy future.  Three oil companies propose over 700 new wells in Cat Canyon, posing dangerous threats to clean air, clean water, public safety, and our climate.  Furthermore, oil companies are not proposing conventional oil drilling, which is risky enough, bu rather they are seeking permits for an enhanced oil extraction method known as STEAM INJECTION, which is far riskier and more energy intensive.  This technique uses ENORMOUS QUANTITIES OF WATER AND TOXIC CHEMICALS, and threatens wildlife and our communities, including Santa Maria Valley.  Additionally,  these projects will require the destruction of native habitats, the removal of hundreds of mature oak trees, and will bring HUNDREDS OF OIL TANKER TRUCKS through local roads EVERY DAY.  While these projects have faced some delays in the permitting process, THEY WILL BE MOVING FORWARD AGAIN THIS YEAR.

To make matters worse, the oil companies seek to dispose of their toxic waste into underground AQUIFERS, threatening water supplies that are critical for drinking and agriculture.  The Environmental Defense Center is taking the lead in urging the State of California to protect our waters by refusing to grant the companies an exemption under the Safe Drinking Water Act.  At a minimum, the State should wait for completion of a pending U.S. Geological Survey study of Cat Canyon Oil Field and the impacts on water in this area.  If necessary, EDC will take our fight tothe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  EDC is representing Sierra Club, SBCAN, and our own members in these cases.”  – Environmental Defense Center,  Fall Newsletter 2019

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