Paso Robles News|Saturday, January 19, 2019
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Letter: Vote ‘Yes’ on Measure G and beware of tricky mailers 

To the editor,

–If you drink water, vote “Yes” on Measure G. And, beware of dirty trick mailers.

As a retired Cal Poly-trained marine biologist who grew up in SLO, I was appalled at the misinformation in your recent editorial. If you also read the SLO Tribune, you would have seen a series of well-researched articles by staff writer, Monica Vaughan (October 10 and 18). Their Editorial Board made a reasoned decision to support YES on Measure G (October 19)! Protecting our water should be non-partisan and broadly supported by anyone wanting to drink clean water.

Your recent editorial by Gary Philbrick states “Measure G is confusing.” How can anyone be confused by these words on the written ballot: “Petroleum extraction land uses lawfully existing on the effective date may continue…(but) shall not be enlarged, increased, extended or otherwise expanded or intensified. (Section 2.B.8.a)” A further lie is that even though current drilling may continue, routine maintenance will be stopped. If you read the actual measure, it explicitly lists (section 2.C.9.a) routine maintenance processes allowed, just so no one would be confused!

Let’s look at the big lie, which is stated over and over ad-nauseam on TV, in mailers, online, by operatives paid $18/hr to knock on doors or table at events. It is: Measure G will stop current oil drilling operations in SLO County. That is a lie. Measure G not only protects the 40,000 jobs in SLO County that depend on clean water in agriculture, the wine industry and tourism, but it also explicitly protects those 32-76 local oil industry jobs (Voter information guide fiscal impact statement for Measure G-18) by not interfering in current production.

The lie that jobs or taxes will be affected, or we will be importing more oil from elsewhere when Measure G passes is a scare tactic! $6 million can certainly buy a lot of lies. Just don’t you, a voter who may wish to drink clean unpolluted water in the future, buy their lies, too.

Big Oil’s nearly $6 million in a campaign to spread lies has now degenerated to dirty tricks. Three different fake voter slates were recently mailed to Democratic voters in SLO County intended to deceive, trick, and manipulate. They feature Democratic voters for State Office and include a “No” on G recommendation—as if this is what the Democrats are advocating. The titles of these mailers are “Feel the Bern: SLO Progressives,” “Council of Concerned Women Voters,” and Coalition for Senior Citizens Security.” All are bogus organizations, the names created to deceive and trick voters.

The truth is the exact opposite. SLO County Democrats, SLO Progressive Democrats, and every regional Democratic Club has endorsed Measure G and recommend a “Yes” on G vote. Perhaps this is the most blatant example yet of the No on G campaign’s willingness to lie and manipulate voters to achieve their goal. It is despicable, outrageous, and should be illegal (but, it is not). And, I have replaced several yard signs removed from sites where permission is granted. More dirty tricks.

With Big Oil’s multi-million dollar propaganda campaign of lies, how can any reasonable person trust anything they say? Does anyone believe Chevron and Exxon really care about us or SLO County? Should you trust Big Oil or the 20,000+ local volunteers and your neighbors who put Measure G on the ballot so you could have the choice to vote “Yes” on Measure G?

Most people do not want our precious groundwater (now in a long drought) to become polluted with the carcinogenic and neuro-toxic chemicals that are injected for fracking and oil drilling. And, yes, there are many examples of groundwater pollution from these processes, from Texas, Oklahoma (now the earthquake capitol of the US due to fracking), Pennsylvania, Colorado, and here in SLO County, I lived through the demolishing and moving of the entire town of Avila Beach as required mitigation for decades of oil leaks! Avila’s groundwater is still not entirely free of pollution.

Several hundred of your neighbors who are farmers, scientists, business people, college faculty, teachers, students, health professionals, retired folks and others, have volunteered for months to protect our water. We are paid nothing. Our reward is clean water. Big Oil hopes their reward is short-term profits before their dirty oil is all pumped out. To them, it is all about money.

I hope you will vote with your neighbors who want to protect your water, too.

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