Newsletter #40 SORRY

I have been preaching for the last 3 years about keeping  it simple. About making it easy for everyone to do the right thing. Then I got an email last night from someone who asked a very simple question. Who is DOGGR and what is the meeting about.  WOW. Zing! Back to reality. Thank you Susan!!! And I mean that with all my heart.

That last  call to action was how simple got lost in the translation.  I got sucked up into the very quagmire I was so desperately trying to avoid for all these years and didn’t even realize it. So here is me trying to get back to keeping it simple for real.

Here is the simple version of what is going on with the DOGGR meeting on Monday.

First, what is DOGGR.

DOGGR. Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. Division of the State Department of Conservation. oversees the drilling, operation, maintenance, and plugging and abandonment of oil, natural gas, and geothermal wells. The regulatory program emphasizes the wise development of oil, natural gas, and geothermal resources in the state through sound engineering practices that protect the environment, prevent pollution, and ensure public safety.  Conclusion.  They have admittedly failed miserably on all three counts.

What is the meeting about on Monday?


Telling DOGGR why we love living in San Luis Obispo. We love the fresh air, the water, the vista, the views, open spaces,  the lifestyle, the castle, the zebras, the basking sea lions, the frolicking whales, bike and people friendly, small town ambiance with all the amenities and it is just far enough off the beaten track to keep it a destination spot where visitors come from around the world to  spend over a billion dollars a year to enjoy what we have 24/7.  A world renowned wine and agriculture business that brings in nearly another billion dollars a year.

Students come from all over the world to get a world class education and the bonus is the weather, the water, the vistas, the views, the people and is ranked 8th safest College campus in California and 54th in the nation out of over 1,127 colleges.

Safe is a very important factor and SLO county works at providing that sense of well being for all that live, work and visit here. It’s not perfect but its not Detroit either.

What we have didn’t happen by accident or luck evidenced by over 1,000 non-profits organizations  and community residents ready, willing and able to take our governing boards and powers that be to task when anything from pooping pigeons on the pier, to nuclear power plants threatens our little jewel in the rough. Not one environmental group or non-profit is in favor of giving Freeport an exemption to dump toxic waste in our backyard.

Why are we telling DOGGR all this?

Because DOGGR wants to change all this.  DOGGR wants us to waive our rights  to a clean, healthy, safe,  thriving, prosperous, living environment for ourselves and future generations to make room for a noisy, ugly, stinky, smelly, dirty, dangerous, hazardous, chemical laden, highly industrialized, overly zealous profit motivated oil drilling operation.

Is that simply enough?
DOGGR has to ask us if this is o.k. because our rights are clearly, concisely written into the the Law of the Land in the CLEAN AIR ACT, THE CLEAN WATER ACT, THE SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT, THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT, THE RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT, (cradle to grave hazardous waste management program) and COMMUNITY RIGHT TO KNOW ACT.

The problem?  The oil industry wants a piece of our action without having to abide with any of the laws, rules and regulations that come with living here. They are seeking permission from DOGGR to violate our rights by making it legal to ignore them. Called an exemption.

​The meeting on Monday is about DOGGR giving Freeport McMoRan the right to turn this area into a waste land and telling us to just learn to live with it.

That’s as simple as I can make and as close to the truth as told by New York, Maryland, Vermont, at least 16 other countries, 13 municipalities and 5 counties in California that all agreed and said,  enhanced oil drilling is a stinky, smelly, hazardous, ugly, dirty, dangerous, environmentally worthless operation and NO. NO we will not waive our rights. NO we will not grant you any immunities or exemptions. Just NO.

Monday you are going to hear a lot of fancy double speak from an industry that prides itself on being expert at using logical fallacies and leave you feeling dumbfounded, bewildered and scared to death you are going to be responsible for turning our community into a third world nation and driving to a job that doesn’t exist in a car that doesn’t run.  Industry is going to argue it is safe but that doesn’t make it true.

The truth is there is mounds and reams of scientific evidence provided by renowned scientist, health organizations, labor unions, ordinary everyday people and a world community that have inoculated themselves with the truth that supports and backs up the fact that a clean, safe and healthy environment is safer and healthier than an environment with exemptions and immunities from clean, safe and healthy.   The truth is the safest place for oil is in the ground.  Oil is not providing us with one beneficial enhancement or improving on what we already have.

And one last simple fact is there is no way on gods green earth that you can safely inject billions of gallons of toxic waste water into an abyss of geological fault zones with cracks and crevices, fractures and lesions and expect it to stay put or track its whereabouts. Scientist have said it will be at least three years before there is any technology that will even come close to measuring and tracking what is going on sub surface. Once it is in the ground it is anybodies guess where it will end up.

Will going to the meeting and speaking our piece make a difference?  Yes it will.  Just how much of a difference remains to be seen.

Thank you and The End.





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