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SLO County supervisors send letter to feds opposing offshore oil development

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meet March 7. From the left are Adam Hill, Lynn Compton, John Peschong, Debbie Arnold and Bruce Gibson.
The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meet March 7. From the left are Adam Hill, Lynn Compton, John Peschong, Debbie Arnold and Bruce Gibson. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is sending a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to notify him that the board opposes offshore oil and gas development.

The supervisors voted 4-0 on Tuesday to send the letter. Supervisor John Peschong recused himself, as he did last week when supervisors voted 3-1 to approve a letter to U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal in support of his bill to prohibit oil and gas leasing off California shores. Carbajal, a Central Coast Democrat, introduced his House Resolution 731 in January, saying at the time that he didn’t expect a Republican-dominated House to pass it.

Peschong recused himself because his political consulting firm has done business with oil companies.

Supervisor Debbie Arnold, who did not support HR 731, voted in favor of sending the letter to the Department of the Interior, as it “seems to encapsulate our citizens’ opinion,” she said.

Arnold noted that in 1986 voters approved Measure A, which requires a public vote before the county approves any permit for development of onshore facilities to support offshore oil and gas facilities. Arnold said Tuesday that Measure A gives power to voters if they decide they want oil or gas development at any time.

The letter to Zinke states, “The County of San Luis Obispo is opposed to any expansion of oil and gas exploration or extraction off our coastline,” and is a renewal of a similar letter written in 2009.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan

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