800px-Semi-submersible_oil_drilling_rigI consider myself a good steward of our environment. I care about my impact on the planet and stay educated about the ways that I can be more carbon-conscious. One thing I know for certain is that whenever possible, using locally sourced goods, labor and materials is better for the environment and our local economy.  Unfortunately, the supporters of Measure P have forgotten that. Measure P would require us to shift our reliance from domestically produced oil towards less regulated and more carbon-expensive oil imports from other countries. Santa Barbara County, the birthplace of the modern environmental movement, has some of the world’s most stringent environmental regulations on oil production. This being the case, in my opinion, as long as there exists an overwhelming demand for oil in our country we should be moving towards energy independence by producing it from tightly regulated, domestic sources in order to minimize costs and maximize environmental safety.Measure P supporters have taken tousing scare tactics, talking about the threat of fracking here in Santa Barbara, when the truth is no fracking takes place in Santa Barbara because the geological make-up of the naturally fractured Monterey Formation makes the use of hydraulic-fracturing unnecessary and therefore unprofitable; hence, no fracking permits have even been applied for in Santa Barbara County. Additionally, if Measure P were to pass it would choke off hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity including funding that supports public schools and various other local governmental agencies. Understanding the fact that the environment does not solely exist on a local scale but rather on global scale provides the grounds for realizing that the passing of Measure P is not a solution to curing our oil dependence but rather acts as an exasperator of environmental and economic damage. I’m going to vote No on Measure P.
Sam Bever is a fourth-year economics major.