California Energy Data

Measure J, the controversial anti-petroleum production initiative on the county-wide November ballot, is based on fear, ignorance, hatred, elitism and egregious, counterproductive land-use planning principles. 

Fear: Most voters are afraid of the word “fracking” and Measure J supporters know that. Of course, there is no “fracking going on and none planned but the word is exploited to simplify their message and benefit their cause. Measure J supporters also claim that existing well stimulation practices – namely cyclic steam injection – will poison our water supply and reduce water resources. Such claims are contradictory to state and federal Environmental Protection Agency data and peer-reviewed scientific studies commissioned by the federal Bureau of Land Management and decades-long petroleum production in the state; specifically, next door at the San Ardo Oil Fields in Monterey County. 

Ignorance: Measure J supporters, consisting mostly of retirees and other no-growth advocates who don’t want change or economic development in San Benito County, copy from the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club playbook strategies to ban all oil production in California. They steadfastly resist and deny efforts to grow the local economy and improve future economic opportunities for families in the county. In doing so, they ignore scientific fact, deny the benefits of Senate Bill 4 – the most stringent environmental/water quality monitoring law in the United States regarding hydraulic fracturing, and drink from the proverbial Kool-Aid fed to them by radical environmentalists. One Measure J supporter even went on record claiming that federal law – the Clean Water Act – trumps state law – Senate Bill 4 with respect to the identification of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process in California which is patently false. 

Hatred: Measure J supporters hate the oil industry and personally attack No on Measure J advocates with whom they disagree. There is no reasoned, civil and measured debate on the issue. Like many religions, there is little tolerance for disputing and debating the facts. You either believe what they believe or you are subject to scorn, insult, character assasination and falsehoods; i.e. “You must be paid by Big Oil!” or comments to that effect. 

Elitism: Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite—a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality or worth, high intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes—are those whose influence or authority is greater than that of others; whose views on a matter are to be taken more seriously or carry more weight; whose views or actions are more likely to be constructive to society as a whole; or whose extraordinary skills, abilities, or wisdom render them especially fit to govern or, in the case of Measure J, change the county General Plan to discriminate against oil production companies who have followed all laws.

Egregious and Counterproductive Land-Use Planning Principles: Measure J supporters believe that they know better than the existing status quo land-use planning and application process that provides due process and due diligence by county staff, the planning commission and the board of supervisors. Unfortunately, and contrary to established and transparent public policy precedent, supervisors Anthony Botelho and Robert Rivas agree with them. Botelho and Supervisor Jerry Muenzer worked hard to modify existing county land-use policy regarding petroleum production consistent with best practices in California. Botelho’s sudden contradiction of his own leadership efforts by supporting Measure J rings loudly of political expediency.

Just like 2004’s Measure G land-use initiative defeated through voter referendum – Measure J attempts to solve problems that San Benito County doesn’t have. There is no “fracking” now or planned in the future due to local geology. There is no water quality issue associated with petroleum production. And the ultimate goal is to stop petroleum production in San Benito County, take away good local jobs, worsen the economy, reduce tax revenue to local government and prevent future energy industry opportunities – both solar and petroleum – from presenting themselves through poor land-use planning regulations.

Regardless of the results of the November election, California’s energy industry will thrive. California is the third largest energy producer in the United States and contributes $131 billion to the state’s economy and sustains almost 800,000, high paying jobs. If Measure J passes, there will be some disappointing losses to property/mineral rights, the economy and our community. If Measure J fails, nothing much will change at all because we don’t produce that much oil, we don’t use the hydraulic fracturing process and the county will move forward much the same as it always has.

Common sense should tell San Benito County voters who are unsure, “on the fence” or confused about the issue to “Just Say No” to Measure J. Do not be misled, frightened or fooled by radical environmentalist claims that we need to “ban fracking” in San Benito County because the threat just doesn’t exist.

Vote No on Measure J.