This "Looking Forward" op-ed piece by Ken Hough ran in the Santa Maria Times June 9, 2016: http://santamariatimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/commentary/looking-forward/orcutt-hill-oil-benefits-less-than-impacts/article_b4e19934-b07e-59fc-ae39-7d06a9eadb51.html
In a recent column, Rosemary Holmes described many of the problems with Pacific Coast Energy’s proposal to double the number of cyclic-steaming wells on its property from 96 to 192.
Since the initial 96 wells began pumping high-pressure steam into the Diatomite formation to loosen up the thick crude oil, the oil seeps that have occurred naturally throughout recorded history increased dramatically. The California Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources has had to step in to shut down some of the oil production to reduce the seeps.
When seeps occur, seep cans need to be installed to collect the oil. When seeps are discovered, bulldozers need to scrape new roads to the site, unless the seep happens to be adjacent to one of the existing dirt roads.
This op-ed piece by Ken Hough was published on Friday, February 12, 2016 in the Santa Maria Times: http://santamariatimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/commentary/looking-forward/supporting-basic-rights-for-farmworkers/article_5c64ba7c-7c67-56ad-b357-dc62ffc03994.html
After recent research revealed widespread labor abuses in Central Coast agricultural fields, farmworkers, advocates, and community organizations began advocating for a Farmworker Bill of Rights. They are asking the Ventura and Santa Barbara County Boards of Supervisors to set and enforce basic standards for agricultural labor.
If passed, this would mark the first time county governments have used their powers to address the wide range of labor abuses common in agricultural work, including extreme overwork, wage theft, and health and safety risks.
The campaign is supported by over 80 elected officials, local businesses and organizations. These include faith-based, labor, environmental, immigrant, student, community and farmworker organizations.
Based on nearly 600 interviews with farmworkers, research by labor attorneys, and meetings with government agency officials, farm owners, and farmworker advocates, Central Coast United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) developed a Farmworker Bill of Rights to address three major issues.