An outspoken opponent of environmental regulations is joining the SLO County Planning Commission.
The SLO County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 on Feb. 21, with Supervisor Adam Hill dissenting, to approve Dan Del Campo to the five-member commission. Del Campo is Supervisor John Peschong’s pick to represent North County’s 1st District and replace retiring Commissioner Jim Irving.
Del Campo hosted the KPRL radio talk show Sound-Off! for six years before recently leaving the station. Prior to joining KPRL, Del Campo served as a Thousand Oaks City Council member and on the board of the Ventura Council of Governments between 1998-2002.
- PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
- PESCHONG’S PICK: SLO County 1st District Supervisor John Peschong (pictured) appointed former KPRL radio host Dan Del Campo to the county Planning Commission. Del Campo was confirmed by a 4-1 board vote on Feb. 21.
Peschong called Del Campo an “exceptional” pick and praised his experience and abilities.
“I looked at his career, his ability to articulate issues and ideas, and the fact that he is very detail-oriented, which is needed on the planning commission,” Peschong said.
In past public statements, Del Campo has expressed staunch opposition to California’s environmental regulations. He’s supported oil and natural gas production and harshly criticized environmentalists.
In his column for the conservative blog site Brietbart California in 2014, Del Campo wrote in support of expanding hydraulic fracturing in the Monterey Shale. In a videotaped appearance speaking at a North County Tea Party event the same year, Del Campo more broadly criticized environmentalism.
“Let’s talk about who controls the water in the state of California. Does anybody know? It is the environmentalists,” he said at the event.
Del Campo has repeatedly expressed opposition to the notion of man-made climate change on Twitter. In 2015, he tweeted, “If we burned all the world’s fossil fuels tomorrow guess what would happen to sea levels ... liberals will not like this.”
Supervisors Hill and Bruce Gibson had strong reservations with the choice, and Hill voted “no” on the appointment.
“In the end, Mr. Del Campo’s performance will be judged on the Planning Commission,” Gibson said. “We would hope that he evidence traits different from what I’ve seen in his public record.”
Prior to the supervisors’ vote, Del Campo addressed the board at the lectern.
“I take this very seriously. I know it’s an important position, and I hope to gain your confidence as time goes by,” he said.
The Board of Supervisors has confirmed three new planning commissioners since December. Michael Multari, a former SLO city planning commissioner, and Julie Hawkins, a Cal Poly planner, were appointed without opposition.
The Planning Commission is poised to play decision-making roles in two controversial oil projects: the Phillips 66 Rail Spur Extension and the Price Canyon Oilfield expansion.
Del Campo’s predecessor, Commissioner Irving, was viewed as the swing vote on a 3-2 decision in October to deny the Phillips 66 project. Phillips 66 is challenging that decision in a lawsuit, requesting that the court send the project back to the Planning Commission for reconsideration. The Board of Supervisors will hear an appeal of the commission’s denial of the Phillips 66 project on March 13.
The Price Canyon oilfield expansion application to drill more than 350 new wells between Highway 227 and Pismo Beach is currently under review by the Environmental Protection Agency for an aquifer exemption. If that exemption is granted, the commission will eventually review the oilfield expansion proposal.