Ron Fink: Who pays the cost of failing energy policies? | Opinions
Santa Barbara County has always been known as a leader in environmental activism. The local Oil Exit faction has convinced some elected officials to do anything but ban fossil fuel production in a county that has vast energy reserves right under our feet.
They crafted and used “save the environment” regulations to thwart oil production while waiving those same rules to favor “green energy” projects. For example, regulators conclude that fossil fuel generation and processing projects will “irreparably harm the environment” if built.
However, when green energy projects, such as wind turbines that kill dozens of endangered birds or solar projects that alter multi-acre plots by shading the land and interrupting the growth of natural habitat containing endangered plants, they abandon these principles.
To do so, they cite “primary considerations”, meaning that the green energy project is more important than the creatures it kills and the flora and fauna it eliminates.
Their theoretical goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels proved untenable when tried in other countries.
The German government, persuaded by equally inspired and funded environmental activists, has virtually eliminated the use of fossil fuels in favor of wind/solar power over the past two decades. While they managed to achieve their original goal, their overall policy proved disastrous as the so-called renewable energy projects could not keep the country running.
Now that Germany is no longer self-sufficient, the newly formed government decided in less than a week that it needed to increase the use of coal, LNG and other fossil fuels so it could stop paying the Russians for fuel, which is used to finance their war against the innocent citizens of Ukraine.
The current administration in Washington has also halted purchases of Russian oil to help stop Russian aggression; It was the right thing to do. To compensate for this, they are pushing their green agenda with renewed vigor. This leads to a substantial increase in the cost of gasoline / diesel for every citizen of our country due to the reduction in fuel supply.
They also claim that activating the US supply will take months – remember it only took an hour after the 2021 inauguration to turn it off, so it should only take an hour to turn it back on.
Failing to take action to increase domestic supply will crush people on fixed incomes, low- and middle-income families, farmers, truckers and workers as factories close and their cost of living rises to unsustainable levels just to get to work due to the lack of reliable and cheaper energy sources.
And the Biden administration claiming the oil industry has thousands of leases but refuses to produce oil to maintain prices is a fraud. Why, because even though they have leases, the government refuses to issue the necessary permits to extract and transport the crude oil.
To make my point, in our county last Tuesday three members of the Board of Supervisors (BOS) denied a trucking license to an oil producer, further proving that environmental elitists are dictating faulty energy policy in this county. .
Previously, the BOS, led by District 1, 2 and 3 supervisors, denied all oil projects in the county in recent years.
Supervisors Joan Hartmann, Gregg Hart, and Das Williams apparently don’t care about the working poor in this county; they only care to comply with a poorly thought out green energy program. Thus, they have contributed to soaring gasoline and diesel prices.
In Santa Barbara County, the BOS would only take aggressive action to revive oil exploration, extraction and transportation. Representatives of the oil industry have publicly stated that it will take days, not months, to start producing oil again.
Given the current BOS majority, don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Meanwhile, the plight of the working poor and people on fixed incomes will only get worse.
How to solve this problem ? There’s an election coming up, and we should be supporting candidates, especially in the 3rd district, who will commit to working for the people who make this county work and not special interests who clearly don’t care whether you survive or not.
— Ron Fink, resident of Lompoc since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry. He has followed Lompoc politics since 1992 and, after serving for 23 years in various Lompoc commissions, retired from public service. The opinions expressed are his own.