Letters to the Editor

SLO County Supervisors pander to big oil by opposing marine sanctuary

Supporters of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary hold signs during the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting on Feb. 7, 2017.
Supporters of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary hold signs during the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting on Feb. 7, 2017. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

On Feb. 7, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors narrowly passed a resolution to oppose establishment of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary by the partisan majority of Debbie Arnold, Lynn Compton and John Peschong. This was in blatant disregard to established facts and the majority of public speakers who opposed the resolution.

The sanctuary is under consideration for designation by NOAA. The official process has yet to begin and when/if it does, will include opportunities for stakeholders from all areas to give input. This act by the Board of Supervisors is a thinly veiled attempt to reopen our coastal waters to offshore oil drilling.

Former Chairwoman Arnold slipped this issue onto the Jan. 24 agenda as one of her final acts as chair. At that meeting, there were about 40 speakers on the issue — the clear majority in favor of the sanctuary. Arnold, Compton and Peschong pushed through this resolution on incorrect information — that the designation would prohibit a possible desalination plant (untrue); that it would harm fishing (untrue); that it would mean loss of local control (in waters already governed by state and federal regulations).

This is shameful pandering to big oil and their campaign contributors. Alternative facts don’t belong in San Luis Obispo County.

Rosemary Canfield, Shell Beach

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