Oil pipelines must be monitored

Thank you for highlighting the pending approval of the Cat Canyon to Sisquoc oil pipelines in your Sunday editorial. You asked "Where were the locals who normally oppose oil projects in North County?" We are here and monitoring proposed, dangerous oil projects in the North County. This one snuck up on us because it was a county ordinance and not a project currently being reviewed through the county planning process.

We are concerned about this pipeline. On the one hand, it is a big safety improvement, especially for the local resident who must deal with the traffic hazards and pollution of hundreds of oil trucks from Santa Maria Mesa Road to Foxen Canyon Road. However, large capacity, buried pipelines also pose significant water pollution and dangerous oil extraction risks if not properly monitored for leaks and maintained in good working order. Proper monitoring and maintenance of these pipelines is very expensive.

There is a long history and many examples of undetected leaking oil pipelines throughout our county, including in Cat Canyon and in Sisquoc. The extremely expensive and noxious recent Refugio Beach oil spill is just the latest example of oil pipelines, constructed in the county with great promises of safety and comprehensive monitoring only to then be allowed to deteriorate into dangerous and costly releases years later. If this pipeline is then used to expand dangerous oil extraction in the area, our water table and citizens will lose.

The Board of Supervisors will probably approve the construction of the Sisquoc pipeline this week. Oil pipelines can be built and operated safely with expensive monitoring and maintenance processes in place if aggressively and authentically regulated by the county, state, and federal governments. I haven't seen that happen in my 30-plus years in the business.

Larry Bishop


Money in the pocket speaks volumes

The big problem I see is that people believe one side, absolutely, and hate the other side, absolutely, as a recent letter writer illustrates.

There are no politicians that I really trust, none. They all seem more influenced by their party and by their contributors, than by the people that elected them. Think about that.

Salud Carbajal is a good example. It's been shown that the majority of Americans want illegal immigration fixed and those who are here illegally removed. Yet Carbajal isn't doing what his constituents want.

And making insinuations that somehow the election wasn't fair because of voter suppression? The people that some are saying are suppressed, generally don't vote anyway, you're just buying into the rhetoric. If they spent half the money they've spent on investigating Russian collaboration (so far, to no avail), on getting people to the polls, or even getting some postage so they could mail their ballots in, what excuse would they use then?

The one thing I can say about Trump is I received the biggest Christmas bonus of my life. And when I can see it in my bank account, it gets my attention.

Boris Roberts

Santa Maria


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