Opinion: How to hold politicians accountable

Opinion: How to hold politicians accountable

Every time a community tries to ban fracking to protect their water and environment the oil companies immediately threatens to file a lawsuit against the community claiming it is infringing on their right to earn a living. 9 times out of 10 all they have to do is threaten to sue and the leaders lay down and play dead and approve permits they know are going to be nothing but trouble down the road but are scared shit less to do anything about it. Or are paid to take heed of the threat or pay the consequences. Oil industry can make good on their threats.

So rather than ban fracking and infringing on their right to screw us over it is well within our purview to approving the permit on the condition that the operators and operation meets or exceeds all the State and Federal Regulations for disposal of toxic hazardous waste. We reserve the right to refuse to issue any permit to any operator that does not meet State and Federal licensing requirements and the site is not on the Federal registry as a hazardous waste disposal site.

The oil companies can not then claim we are infringing on their right to frack because we aren’t. They can frack away. What we are saying is that a condition precedent to getting a permit to frack or drill by means of any unconventional oil extraction process is that they have a license from the proper State and Federal Agencies to manufacture hazardous waste according to Code of Federal Regulations and a Bill of Lading designating the disposal of that manufactured hazardous waste to an official registered hazardous waste disposal site.

To date the Arroyo Grande Oil Fields are none of the above and Sentinel is not a licensed manufacturer of hazardous waste.

It would be well within our rights as taxpaying citizens and residents of this county to insist our elected officials do due diligence and deny any permits that are not properly licensed. We do have a case against any official body that fails or neglects to abide by and comply with State and Federal Rules and Regulation. After all we do have some rights too that we have been ignoring and that is our fault.

And just a p.s. here. An aquifer exemption is irrelevant and of no consequence to the permitting process.

Whereas an aquifer exemption declares a water source to be unfit for consumption is one thing. Getting a license to dispose of hazardous waste into that aquifer is a whole other process entirely and are not one in the same. One does not preclude the other.

An exemption is not an license to dump nor does it automatically qualify and register the site as an official hazardous waste disposal site.

So, I think it is time to think about who is going to be suing who for infringements on our rights to clean air and water and rights to be free from the fear of threats to our lives and livelihood by irresponsible, neglectful and belligerent elected officials who are not doing their job and following the rules that insure our safety health and well being.

If the oil industry has the right to file a writ of mandate against our elected officials then doesn’t that mean we have at the very lest the same right as a citizen and resident of this county?   I guess we will see. Have an APB out for attorneys to look at this.

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Sh*t happens

And this is a good thing. It is a normal bodily function that eliminates toxins and wastes in the body. The problem is when this normal bodily function malfunctions and we experience too much or none at all. Diarrhea and constipation can be life threatening.

We generally don’t think too much about what causes these problem until it becomes a problem. We are careful and try to avoid those situations we know will be a problem, like don’t drink the water in certain places which will give you a real run for your money or certain medications like Vicodin that will get rid of one kind of  pain  and cause a whole other pain in the rear.

Why am I bringing this up? Just to show I guess that avoiding situations we know are going to cause problems is always the best solution. We can’t always know what is going to trigger the trots or shut the whole process down completely. Food poisoning is one of those things we can’t know ahead of time and would avoid if we could.

And sometimes we know just more fiber or water will cure what is ailing us and then the good thing we want to happen, happens.  And we are happy campers again.

So, the moral of this story I guess is, consider the source of this infamous saying, sh*t happens. And if the source is someone trying to tell us their sh*t is going to cause diarrhea or constipation and that is a good thing we can tell them to Shell it up their rear-in. We know better.

Someone in particular was on my mind when I wrote this because they are using that phrase as a reason why we need to love and embrace their product. Their product is fossil fuels and the someone is Halliburton.

Their product causes violent uncontrollable spewing of toxic waste from sea to shining sea and they are proud and delighted to be able to shove it down our throats. I guess this was just my kind and gentle way of agreeing that yes sh*ts happens and yes it is their sh*t that causes problems I don’t want anything to do with because I know better.  In other words,  they can take their fossil fuel BM and put it where the sun don’t shine.

Opinion – San Luis Obispo is having an identity crisis

Trying to keep up with all that is going on in this county right now is mind boggling. I took a moment to reflect.

SLO County is having an identity crisis.

 

The 2012 Chevron fire and explosion in Richmond California is an excellent example of how an industry thrives on a crisis it creates. The world watched. It was like watching an old Seinfeld rerun we had seen for the umpteenth time.  Dodging the bullet is the industry’s modus operandi and while the governing boards are well aware of the conditions and terms of their agreement, which does indeed stipulate the industry is not liable, they tend to look the other way and hope nobody dies or anything happens that would expose their indiscretions.

 

Not until a disaster of this magnitude does the community realize they have been duped into believing everything was going to be fine just fine.  This is not to say though that the community does not bear some responsibility for allowing the indiscretions to prevail.

 

Now the community is united and up in arms.  Now they are demanding restitution and transparency. Unfortunately for those that died, homes destroyed, health forever impaired, restitution is impossible. If they had to do it all over again and know what they know today they would have done things quite differently.

 

SLO County is having an identity crisis. We are at an apex in our existence. Recognized world wide as leaders in fine wines, quaint get-aways, one of a kind views and vistas that only nature can provide, commingled with an inviting and embracing community anxious to share in our good fortune is SLO’s hallmark.

 

This atmosphere of congeniality did not happen by accident. Every nook and cranny, view and vista, butterfly and horny toad sanctuary, oak and morning glory preserve, land conservancy acquisition, tucked away historical building and pit stop, visiting whales and even the inconspicuous but none the less critical marine habitat are championed by a vibrant, engaged, committed community intent on preserving and protecting the ambiance that makes us who we are.

 

And then, quite unexpectedly, we were discovered by alien forces and not in a way that perpetuates our quality of life but rather challenges it to the core.

 

Accident prone bomb trains slithering into our midst, immune, exempt-ridden oil drillers seeking refuge in our protected, precious aquifers, convicted criminals of mass deception, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant demanding permanent resident status, all converging upon us at once, all demanding an audience with the gatekeepers of our destiny, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.  The buck stops there.

 

The alien forces have formed a vortex and what happens next will define our existence for generations to come.  Clearly what is at stake here is two diametrically opposed forces, greed motivated profit and profit to sustain quality of life and lifestyles.

 

When the Board was approached with what would seem like an obvious no-brainer of a decision for elected officials sworn to uphold our safety, health and well being and a simple vote refusing to admit the inherently dangerous, bomb trains, nuclear power plant sitting on 12 faults lines that could be easily triggered by oil drilling operations a mere 5 miles away, drew instead blank stares and insincere platitudes.

 

We could take to heart all those who have suffered irreparable harm by unscrupulous and incorrigible industrial belligerence and act on it to prevent an instant replay in our community.

 

What if every man, woman and child that will most assuredly be adversely effected by bomb trains, toxic drinking water, suffocating air, is in the blast zone, sitting on top of a fault line, shows up on the steps of the County court house and delivers an open proclamation to our Board of Supervisors?  NO OIL TRAINS. NO OIL DRILLING. NO NUKES. NOT NOW. NOT EVER. JUST NO. NO MEANS NO.

 

We deliver the proclamation with a resolution demanding they sign it at the next Board of Supervisors meeting-effective immediately. We all show up for that too.  The world will be watching San Luis Obispo show how you become the change you want to see in the world.  This is who we are.

 
So that said folks let me just kind of top that off with an announcement about a documentary that was a game changer for communities where ever it was shown.  The truth has a way of doing that. The documentary is called Split Estate . All I had to do was mention to Bob Banner that we needed to see this and he took care of the details. Steynberg Gallery May 26, 7-9. Here’s the trailer and info.  http://www.hopedance.org/events/eventdetail/973/-/split-estate-film-discussion-fracking

Thank you all for being here and caring.

Jeanne