After careful consideration, I will be voting yes on Measure Z, to “Protect Our Water: Ban Fracking and Limit Risky Oil Operations.” I strongly encourage your yes vote as well. Upon review of the economic impact evaluations prepared by proponents and opponents of the measure, I have concluded that the real public health and environmental protections advanced by Measure Z outweigh any of the opponents’ speculation of adverse economic impacts.
Importantly, Measure Z allows for the continued use of steam injection and water flooding in existing oil production facilities in Monterey County while requiring the cleaning and treatment of all contaminated water prior to reinjection after five years.
The economic analysis prepared on behalf of the opponents’ campaign is misleading as it unequivocally states that passage of Measure Z will “ban oil production in Monterey County.”
This statement is untrue and misleading.
Measure Z, as drafted and as qualified for the ballot, specifically recognizes and allows for continued oil extraction while requiring that toxic wastewater injection be phased out by 2022.
MEASURE Z DOES NOT BAN OIL
The cleaning of wastewater disposal is not a new concept and is already practiced in approximately 22 percent of existing oil extraction operations in the county. Opponents suggest that the cost of reverse osmosis water treatment, which would be required if Measure Z passes before the water is reinjected, would be prohibitive.
Conservative economic modeling concludes that even with the required water treatment, profits from Monterey County oil extraction and production will continue to grow; jobs will be preserved and may in fact be created; and, the continued business of oil extraction and production can be adapted to protect groundwater, agriculture and public health.
I believe that it is a disservice to voters for opponents to claim that passage of Measure Z will result in a loss of revenues that might be directed to support firefighters, police and educational services. As crafted, Measure Z does not ban oil production and its passage will not require the curtailment of public services.
I highly recommend a comparison of the two economic studies prepared by proponents and opponents of Measure Z. Based on my analysis of these studies and independent review of Measure Z, I have concluded that passage and implementation of Measure Z will enhance Monterey County’s environmental and agricultural resources, as well as public health and safety while allowing for continued oil extraction and production. As a result, I am endorsing Measure Z and support its passage.