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Vote No on Measure J. There is simply no truth to the fear-mongering agenda of San Benito Rising and its purposefully deceptive initiative. The group is fostered and supported by the Center for Biological Diversity. In reality, the Center is an anti-industry legal attack group that uses the Endangered Species Act and media scare tactics as a weapon to destroy America’s industrial strength and resource production by bringing lawsuits against a wide spectrum of resource use companies, private property owners and against government to stop resource use. 

Measure J is brought to you by the same people that sought to control growth in San Benito County with the 2004 land-use initiative Measure G campaign that ultimately failed by voter referendum. Measure J is billed as an anti-hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ bill and seeks to modify the county general plan to stop ‘fracking’. The truth is that there is no ‘fracking’ in the county and none being planned. San Benito Rising and the Center for Biological Diversity do, however, want to stop all petroleum production in San Benito County and use deceptive, duplicitous campaign tactics to that end.

San Benito Rising says that it wants to protect the water supply from contamination by oil companies. Oil has been safely produced in San Benito County and the rest of California for more than 100 years. According to the San Benito County Water District there is no record of any oil well contaminating any water well or aquifer anywhere in the county. Senate Bill 4 which Governor Brown signed into law late last year provides the strongest environmental protection regarding petroleum production in the United States including water resource protection/monitoring, required seismicity studies, identification of all chemicals used in ‘fracking’ operations and notification of affected neighbors prior to petroleum production.

President Obama’s All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy is making America more energy independent and supporting jobs. Since the President took office, domestic energy-related emissions have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years, and our dependence on foreign oil is at a 20-year low — and declining. America is producing more oil, gas, and renewable energy, and the U.S. is becoming more energy efficient overall. These trends are increasing our energy security, cutting our carbon pollution, and enhancing our economic growth.

Measure J is opposed by the true stewards of San Benito County; its farmers and ranchers who are represented by the local Farm Bureau and whom voted to oppose the land-use initiative as an overreach of government policy. They know that when domestic energy is artificially restricted in the United States, the cost to grow crops and raise livestock – especially transporting goods to the marketplace – goes up with fuel prices; the basic law of supply and demand. Measure J would hurt our agricultural industry; the people who have sustained San Benito County’s character and economy for 150 years. 

I enjoy the pastoral beauty of San Benito County, its rural character and great weather. I have lived here for almost 20 years and contributed to the community. I have served as a county planning commissioner and co-founded the San Benito Stage Company and the San Benito Arts Council. I have worked in the water utility field for 25 years and found San Benito Rising’s claims regarding water contamination to be false. I join with San Benito United for Energy Independence, the Farm Bureau, The Cattleman’s Association and others in opposition of Measure J. And, contrary to personal attacks from San Benito Rising, I am not being paid by the oil industry for voicing my opposition to the deceptive and duplicitous messages behind of Measure J. 

Measure J isn’t about “protecting San Benito County’.” Rather, it ‘cries wolf’ about ‘fracking’ and seeks to stop certain land-use practices in order to run existing safe and legal petroleum businesses out of town. Measure J will cause the oil industry to sue the San Benito County government for taking rights away from petroleum producers if the measure passes in November. 

Don’t be fooled by Measure J and its radical no-growth, anti-domestic energy initiative. Vote No on Measure J.