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Letters to the Editor: Loss of AERA oil project creates casualties; Wearing face masks and do unto others

Letters to the Editor: Loss of AERA oil project creates casualties; Wearing face masks and do unto others

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Loss of AERA oil project creates casualties

Well, it appears that AERA energy has thrown in the towel. The reasons given were the global drop in the price of oil coupled with the ever-increasing regulatory demands from the County.

There is little that we can do to control the influence on crude prices, none that compare to the foreign petroleum-producing giants. While it is easy to ponder the negative impact that these almost predictable “drop in prices” create, it seems that their frequency is timed to destroy any projects stuck in the quagmire of our domestic, politicly charged, regulatory permitting process.

Some see yet another failed petroleum project as a great victory for our community. Those at the front of that parade are the individuals that profit from obstructing yet another good-paying petroleum project. These zealots sitting up in their ivory towers and would have you believe that this community should rejoice over the corpse of yet another oil permit application.

I do believe that this kind of thinking does in fact create casualties in our community, the first of which is good-paying jobs. The second is the loss of massive tax revenues that supports important community services like mental health and our local school districts. Those funds also support hospitals, fire, and other emergency response services as well!

I am shocked at the level of ignorance of some of our leaders, those that believe that an electric car is devoid of the need for petroleum products. Are you kidding? Approximately 50% of all cars, yes electric cars as well, are constructed from plastics, hence OIL! I do not see that changing anytime soon.

We have an opportunity here in Santa Barbara to prove to the world that oil can be produced in a highly regulated environment. We must strictly adhere to regulations that protect our water, our people, our jobs, and our economy.

But in all endeavors lie risk, this is a fact of life. We must balance all these variables. But when the process comes with a movable goalpost it has become almost impossible to successfully bring these projects to

Michael Lopez


Wearing face masks and do unto others

When I was a little girl, my father taught me the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Then I read Jesus's words: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The message I got was that I need to treat others with the care and consideration that I want, and that I have a responsibility to act in ways that care for the well being of others.

And that's why we need to wear face coverings during this pandemic.

Wearing a cloth mask doesn't protect me that much. But if I wear one, it protects you. If you wear one, it protects me. And if we both wear one, the virus is much less likely to infect either of us.

When we wear masks, we are protecting people like my friends Michelle and Owen. They both have cancer, and don't go out at all -- they are prisoners of this pandemic. But their spouses have to go shopping. The masks we wear reduce the chance that they will catch it and bring the virus home to their vulnerable family members. That may be what keeps Michelle and Owen alive.

My friend Eric works in a grocery store. He wears a mask to protect you. If you and other shoppers don't, he will be exposed all day long, increasing his risk of getting the virus. He's performing an essential job, so we can get food. We owe it to him to reduce his risk. And we need him in that job, so we can buy food for our families.

You may not like the government telling you what to do or put on your body. But sometimes that's what it takes to get people to change their habits. So instead of being angry about having to wear a mask, think about how you are practicing the Golden Rule and making the world a little bit safer for your neighbors.

Lee Heller



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