I read with bewilderment and incredulity the recent article about the escalating legal battle over the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin (“Let the lawsuits begin!” Nov. 28). Not that this is not an important issue to resolve; I would like to step back a bit and offer a different perspective.
Regardless of whether you want the Central Coast to be engulfed in grape vines or see the value in plant and livestock bio-diversity, both sides hold to a vision of the Central Coast as an agricultural region that encourages a healthy lifestyle and is a magnet for tourism. This vision will be decimated if the Monterey shale fields are fracked. The risk of poisoned groundwater, petrochemical-rich air pollution, and the “promise” of millions of jobs leading to more housing, malls, and development will suck up the precious water and turn the Central Coast into urban paved-over jungle where no self-respecting wine grape, cow, or carrot will want to live, let alone thrive.
Get it straight, folks. The oil companies love you bickering. So long as you squabble and cannot come to some accord, your eyes are off the ball and blind to the big picture. Frackers and their vision of corporate profits will rule the day as they slip in the back door and take it all—in which case both your arguments are moot. You both lose—in which case we all lose.
It is time to come together and come up with a vision that works to make the groundwater basin sustainable. And a good part of this becomes achievable if you realize who the biggest enemy to you both is. If you join the many concerned citizens on the Central Coast who want to ban fracking, perhaps you will also find many intelligent supportive citizens who can help in coming up with the creative solution you need to help maintain one of the most beautiful, livable spots in America, if not the world.
-- Melanie and Robert Sachs - San Luis Obispo