Letters to the Editor

Why allow oil wells and mines in SLO County?

Referencing The Tribune’s Nov. 5th editorial, “Let’s rethink medical marijuana ordinance in SLO County”: The Tribune is on to something.

A double standard does exist in this county. Perhaps the county should re-examine its oil and mining ordinances, too. Those ordinances ostensibly allow oil and mining projects in certain locations, but as the Excelaron and Las Pilitas projects demonstrate, that doesn’t matter.

It is unfair to mislead applicants into believing they have a shot at opening an oil well or a mine when it appears the county has no intention of ever letting that happen. I wonder, are they waiting for local residents in those areas to give their blessing before they’ll approve an application? If so, that’s never going to happen.

NIMBYs in this county believe that oil wells and mines are dirty and noisy, and they’re not likely to change their minds. I get that. I hope, however, that the county supervisors can balance such concerns against the needs of a vulnerable group of constituents — those who depend on cars, roads and sidewalks.

If the current ordinances lack adequate mitigation measures, the supervisors should fix them. But if they believe oil wells and mines are intrinsic nuisances, why have an ordinance allowing them at all?

Greg Grewal, Creston