SCSQUARED halfBy Jeffrey Herman, San Clemente native living at Point Mugu

Letter writer Danielle Lee (July 3, 2015) mentioned fracking in six of her letter’s seven paragraphs. The Refugio State Beach oil spill was due to a faulty pipeline, not fracking.

Regardless what her University of California, Santa Barbara professors have told her, the Environmental Protection Agency’s own research has shown there is no evidence that fracking has led to widespread, systemic pollution of drinking water (NPR June 7, 2015).

Ms. Lee should realize that the world’s ocean floors naturally seep more petroleum in just one day than all the combined man-caused oil spills in history. In fact, between Ventura and San Luis counties, there are some 2,000 active sea floor oil seeps. What should be of special interest to Ms. Lee is that natural sea floor emissions just offshore of Santa Barbara seep 25 tons of oil every day. That’s natural, not man-caused.

Growing up with friends on the San Clemente beaches during the 1960s and ’70s, there were some days that the bottoms of our feet would be black from the naturally seeped oil tars. We never gave it a second thought (until our mothers yelled at us for tracking the stuff into the house).

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comments (2)

  • Must be an Oil Company employee.

    June 4 the 1000 page Fracking report released by the EPA

    Directly from the report:

    EPA, June 4 2015: From our assessment, we conclude there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources. These mechanisms include water withdrawals in times of, or in areas with, low water availability; spills of hydraulic fracturing fluids and produced water; fracturing directly into underground drinking water resources; below ground migration of liquids and gases; and inadequate treatment and discharge of wastewater. “There are recognized instances where fracking-related activities related to releases that have impacted surface and ground water,” said the EPA’s top science adviser, Thomas Burke.

    But no, the most recent Santa Barbara spill was not caused by fracking, however, Plains Pipeline, the large Texas-based company responsible for the pipe that ruptured in Santa Barbara County, has accumulated 175 safety and maintenance infractions since 2006, according to federal records.

    Analysis of data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration shows Plains’ rate of incidents per mile of pipe is more than three times the national average. Among more than 1,700 pipeline operators listed in a database maintained by the federal agency, only four companies reported more infractions than Plains Pipeline.

    The company’s infractions involved pump failure, equipment malfunction, pipeline corrosion and operator error. None of the incidents resulted in injuries. According to federal records, since 2006 the company’s incidents caused more than $23 million in property damage and spilled more than 688,000 gallons of hazardous liquid.

  • I agree, so lets do without the oil. ‘Bout time everyone in Calif learned to walk anyway,, sure as shooting can’t drive.

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