Ventura County – On Jan. 23 in a split vote the Ventura County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution opposing federal plans to sell new oil and gas leases in the Pacific Ocean. This vote demonstrates the majority of supervisors understand the importance of protecting the entire coastline from the risks and potential economic impacts associated with more offshore oil and gas leasing.
“Ocean currents [don’t stop] at county lines,” said Supervisor John Zaragoza (Dist. 5) in support of the resolution, which applies to the entire California Coastline and in response to a question from Supervisor Kelly Long (Dist. 3) about why the resolution was not restricted to Ventura County. “We have 43 miles of coastline to be protected, commercial fishing, natural resources – our regional defense plan.” He explained the “task zone” for Naval Base Ventura County at Pt. Mugu requires a testing area and he has concerns about new leasing encroaching on that.
Supervisors Steve Bennett (Dist.1), Linda Parks (Dist. 2) and Zaragoza voted for the resolution with Supervisors Peter Foy (Dist. 4) and Long voting no. Bennett and Parks introduced the resolution.
“[We are] united with all counties in California,” said Supervisor Linda Parks (Dist. 2). “This would also allow fracking off the Pacific Coast, and the polluted water is dumped into the ocean. We already have an impact from current operations.”
Both Bennett and Parks referred to Senator Dianne Feinstein's request of all counties in California to unite in opposition to the federal proposal to open up the Pacific to more offshore drilling.
The Ventura County resolution states,” the County of Ventura has 43 miles of Pacific Ocean Coastline and famed surfing beaches from Rincon Point to Countyline, in addition many state and local beach parks, coastal hotels and businesses, and valuable coastal homes, and WHEREAS, the County's two recreational and commercial fishing harbors, together with the Port of Hueneme support an ocean-oriented economy and gateway for commercial fishing, boaters, and visitors including over 350,000 annual visits to Channel Islands National Park.” The resolution was brought forward by Bennett and Parks.
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