Opinion » Letters

Resume drilling

San Luis Obispo



 There was a time when I would have agreed with many concerns about offshore oil drilling and collection but that was long ago. The attacks of 9/11 require re-evaluating the subject.

I once worked for commercial fishermen who had their gear run over by seismic survey boats, who could not fish due to displacement, and encountered divers who were physically injured by seismic pulses. On one Christmas day, a fed-up local fisherman opened fire on a seismic boat. Things were out of control. Moreover, I lived in Santa Barbara during the 1969 oil spill, which incidentally was not a “blowout” as is commonly claimed. The bottom of the ocean contains many fractures: The 1969 “spill” was caused by these fractures. Environmental pressure and resulting regulations now require casing wells to depths that prevent leakage. 
 However, much has changed in 40 years. For one, oil technology has come a long way. The total leakage of oil from all California offshore oil production during the last 40 years is 842 barrels, I understand. By contrast, approximately 250 barrels a day leak from natural seeps into the Santa Barbara Channel. That’s 1,820,000 barrels in 40 years! In addition, these same seeps release another 6,075 tons of air pollution (methane) annually.

Though some people regard offshore platforms as eyesores, most of the public remains ignorant about the 30 sub-sea production systems installed in state waters near Santa Barbara during the 1960s. These systems pumped unseen oil into unseen pipelines and were removed 25 years later. Even newer technologies could produce additional oil and gas, providing jobs and taxes to our bankrupt state.

Hysteria prevents us from developing our own energy resources. The United States spends hundreds of billions of dollars to purchase oil from other countries, some of which want to destroy us. This makes no sense. Our Congresswomen (Capps, Feinstein, Boxer) and the media are constantly trying to scare us. They should stop the scare tactics and begin solving our energy and economic problems.

-- Steven L. Rebuck - San Luis Obispo

-- Steven L. Rebuck - San Luis Obispo

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