Letters to the editor: For and against Measures A and B; county DA race

·5 min read

A & B trying to eliminate industry

In the early 1920s when oil and gas wells were first being drilled in Ventura County, a primary regulatory concern was water encroachment into the oil zones. In the 100 years since, the engineering and regulation has evolved. Problems that developed were solved. Water protections are built into the existing current state rules that all new wells must comply with.

Measures A and B however break the chain of 100 years of engineering and regulatory improvement. A & B’s intent, which affects all oil and gas operations not just new drilling, is to eliminate an industry that has existed in Ventura County for 100 years. The measures are really nothing more than NIMBY rules.

Underlying is a desire to move society away from fossil fuels. California is approaching this by passing a series of NIMBY laws such as A and B, that do nothing to reduce California’s fossil fuel demands, but instead force other states or other nations to provide California with oil and gas.

As an example, California is planning to ban fracturing wells beginning in 2024. Meanwhile the city of Los Angeles gets much of its electricity from a coal-fired generating plant in Utah. To get away from coal, L.A. is requiring the Utah plant to convert to natural gas. The gas fueling the new generators will come from gas wells in Wyoming that have to be fractured to produce.

It was interesting to see President Biden state, when announcing the Russian oil embargo, that his administration is not holding up drilling permits. However, California regulatory agencies have been actively denying drill permits for nearly a year. Ventura County resident’s taxes and fees will go up with the loss of oil/gas tax revenue. The supervisors should be focusing on how to provide water to the county.

Lowell Martinson, Ojai

Settlement shows worth of A & B

Re: The Associated Press’ May 15 story, “$230M settlement reached over 2015 oil spill”:

As reported in The Star, a $230 million settlement was reached over the 2015 oil spill. Oil gushed from a corroded pipeline. Isn’t that enough information to know that regulations need to be updated? I’ll vote yes on Measures A and B.

Luke Claus, Oak Park

Can’t rely on foreign oil

Recent global events have made it clear that reliance on foreign energy sources is bad for America and bad for Ventura County. As a result of our dependence on foreign oil to fuel our nation, energy prices are at record levels in Ventura County, well over what they were a year ago.

Measures A and B will further increase energy prices and hurt regular people who are just trying to get by. Shutting down local oil production in Ventura County increases our dependence on oil supplied by wayward foreign leaders. As a middle-class Ventura resident, I cannot keep up with rising energy costs. Measures A and B will shut down local energy production in Ventura County and make us more vulnerable to international uncertainty.

Please vote no on Measure A and B.

Lindsey Stetson, Ventura

A & B won’t lead to higher prices

Corporate campaign spending got a boost when the U.S. Supreme Court passed Citizens United in 2010, ending campaign spending limits for corporations and unions. Safeguards for responsible election campaigning has since fallen prey to attack ads, misinformation, and outrageous lies subjecting voters to being bombarded before elections. Oil company spending on elections, including contributions to political candidates, is out of control.

Measures A & B are simply requiring adherence to 1970s environmental standards to properly maintain equipment and bring antiquated permits up to date, the same standards already required in all California counties and throughout America. Passage of A & B will help ensure that thousands of old antiquated oil wells in Ventura County, and oil and gas drilling, which requires drilling through and going deeper than aquifers, are properly handled to protect us against catastrophic disasters to our water sources and soil, so vital to our farmland and drinking water.

Vote yes on Measures A and B. Don’t let Aera Energy bamboozle you: Oil and gas prices will not be affected by passage of this measure, and if anything, yes will create more jobs.

Carla Bollinger, Newbury Park

Nasarenko the choice for DA

Eric Nasarenko is being opposed by attorney John Barrick for the position of Ventura County District Attorney. Although the position of District Attorney is nonpartisan, the political affiliation of the candidates reflects their beliefs regarding the law. Mr. Nasarenko is a Democrat and has what I would characterize as a pragmatic approach that takes into account multiple facets of crime and criminals. Mr. Barrick is a Republican and takes the traditional “law and order” approach.

While Mr. Nasarenko has sued the state to prevent the early release of violent criminals, he takes a modified approach for nonviolent crimes. Mr. Barrick says, “We are not social workers,” and undoubtedly advocates for locking up all criminals regardless of the level of violence. This is one of my pet peeves about the Republicans. When we lock everyone up, the prisons get crowded. So, addressing crime in Ventura County is not a simple matter of being “tough on crime” because there are consequences. Republicans never have an answer for what to do with the high incarceration rates. They never seem to build the additional prisons we need.

I met John Barrick at a meet-and-greet and I found him to be personally engaging, but you have to read between the lines. The story about how he came to attend college and law school is charming, but he also spent a lot of time maligning his opponent. I researched the allegations online and could not find anything to verify his assertions. Which is yet another of my pet peeves about Republicans. They engage in personal attacks and tell “untruths.” Mr. Nasarenko does not take that approach, which is among the many reasons I am voting for him as District Attorney for Ventura County in 2022.

Yasmin Attar, Ventura

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Letters: For and against Measures A and B; county DA race