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Smart Voter
Santa Barbara County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Measure J2010
Paredon Oil and Gas Development Initiative
City of Carpinteria

Initiative - Majority Approval Required

Fail: 1174 / 29.03% Yes votes ...... 2870 / 70.97% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jul 1 9:44am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (7/7)
Information shown below: Summary | Official Information | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall the General Plan/Local Coastal Land Use Plan of the City of Carpinteria be amended and a Specific Plan adopted to authorize development of the Paredon Project, a private development project to explore, develop, produce and gather offshore and onshore oil and natural gas resources and transmit them to the Carpinteria Oil and Gas Processing Facility operated by Venoco, Inc.?

Summary Prepared by Carpinteria City Attorney:
The official summary of Measure J can be found at:

Official Sources of Information

Impartial Analysis from Carpinteria City Attorney

Measure J is known as the "Paredon Oil and Gas Development Initiative." Venoco, Inc. prepared Measure J to authorize a private development called the "Paredon Project," which involves the exploration, development, production, gathering and transmission of offshore and onshore oil and natural gas using an onshore extended reach drilling rig. The development site is located at the Carpinteria Oil and Gas Processing Facility ("CPF") on Dump Road between City Hall and the ocean.

The existing CPF processes, stores and transmits oil and gas by pipeline from offshore platforms. These operations would continue. Measure J would intensify onshore development at the CPF by authorizing the drilling of several test wells using a 175-foot tall electric drilling rig and, if viable, up to 31 additional wells using a 140-foot rig. The 140-foot rig would be enclosed in a structure resembling a lighthouse. Processing would occur weekdays from 6:30 am to 4:30 pm. During all drilling activities, drilling would occur 24-hours per day. The Paredon Project includes a mitigation and monitoring program. The Paredon Project is expected to operate for at least 20 years.

Under Measure J, the project components, development regulations and environmental mitigation measures for the Paredon Project may be modified at Venoco's request without further voter approval. The City is not authorized to impose discretionary development conditions on or apply other environmental mitigation measures to the Paredon Project.

Under existing regulations, onshore drilling to access offshore resources is prohibited in Carpinteria. Measure J would authorize the Paredon Project by: (1) amending the Carpinteria General Plan/Coastal Plan to make 16 exceptions exclusively for this development to policies that protect the community and environment (e.g. harbor seals, coastal views, noise and lighting), (2) creating a Paredon Specific Plan to establish an overlay zone at the CPF to allow onshore drilling, (3) directing the City to issue all permits necessary to develop the Paredon Project, and (4) superseding all City laws that are inconsistent with the Measure.

Measure J raises several legal questions, such as how Measure J affects permitting at the CPF, what other coastal-dependent industrial development, if any, is authorized at the CPF without voter approval, and how royalties will be divided among the City, County and State.

According to City analysis, Measure J could result in greater risks to public safety and the environment, new impacts on infrastructure, additional costs related to litigation, and decreased property values in some areas. If oil and gas is produced, the City will receive taxes and royalties in an unknown amount, input from a citizens' advisory committee on royalty expenditures, and an interest in Venoco's property for open space and coastal access.

A "Yes" vote on Measure J means the voter is in favor of the Paredon Oil and Gas Development Initiative. A "No" vote on Measure J means the voter is opposed. A majority (50% + 1 vote) of voters casting a vote in favor would approve Measure J. Measure J must be certified by the California Coastal Commission before becoming effective.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure J2010. If you desire a copy of the Measure, please call the elections official's office at (805) 684-5405 ext. 403 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you. A copy is also available on the City of Carpinteria website, at the following address:[MeasureJ2010.pdf.

Peter N. Brown, City Attorney January 1 , 2010

  Official Information

City of Carpinteria information on Measure J (opens in new window)
Campaign websites

For Measure J

Against Measure J
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Arguments For Measure J2010 Arguments Against Measure J2010
Argument in Favor of Measure J

For over 50 years oil and natural gas have been extracted offshore and safely processed at the Carpinteria processing facility. Today there is a cleaner, safer, more environmentally sensitive way to extract these offshore resources. Passage of Measure J will require Venoco to upgrade its facilities and eliminate the need for an offshore platform. Passage of Measure J allows Venoco to invest in new technology and use extended reach extraction that is safer, cleaner and more efficient. If the project is approved, Venoco's processing facility in Carpinteria will operate under a new permit that is far stricter and has greater regulatory oversight than the current permit.

Oil and natural gas will be pumped from the existing processing site and the oil will be transferred to refineries by existing pipelines. There will be no new construction of pipelines.

After nine months, if sufficient oil reserves are not found using this new clean technology, the project will be cancelled and all drilling equipment removed. If however, oil reserves are sufficient, significant royalties will be paid to the State. Carpinteria and the County will receive up to $200 million to spend on critical needs in the community. The City can use the revenue to purchase and protect open space, improve coastal access, improve recreational trails, protect and improve water quality, and reduce storm water pollution. A yes vote means stricter regulations on the facility and a significant financial benefit to the residents of Carpinteria. A no vote means no change in the way oil is extracted and no new revenue for our community.

Under existing regulations and with existing facilities Venoco will continue to extract oil and natural gas for decades to come. Measure J merely allows for safer extraction and for the community to receive much needed new revenue.

Please vote Yes.

Chris Gahan
Alice Larsen
Vernon Mesick
Bill Carty
Joseph Lazaro

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Rebuttal to Argument In Favor of Measure J2010

Venoco purchased the Carpinteria oil and gas processing facility from Chevron just over ten years ago. Since then, state and local officials have cited Venoco's Carpinteria operations for numerous violations of health, safety and environmental laws, including those related to air pollution, water pollution and contaminated soils. Venoco's current operations pose a serious risk to our community, but Measure J does NOT "require Venoco to upgrade its facilities." Measure J does NOT "eliminate the need for an offshore platform." Instead, Measure J would allow Venoco to expand and intensify both its onshore and offshore oil & gas operations in Carpinteria. Measure J does NOT guarantee royalties to the City of Carpinteria. Even IF Venoco finds a sufficient quantity of oil and gas, the royalties are paid to the State of California. Carpinteria would have to convince the cash-strapped State and the County of Santa Barbara to share a portion of the royalties.

If Measure J is not defeated, a massive new drilling rig will tower over the Carpinteria coastline. We would have to live with the risks and impacts of a major industrial operation for decades to come, and Venoco would be exempted from regulatory safeguards that protect our community and our environment. These risks are too great and the cost is just too high. Measure J is wrong for Carpinteria and no amount of money can change that. Please vote NO on Measure J.

The undersigned authors of the rebuttal to the argument against Ballot Measure J2010 at the special primary election for the City of Carpinteria to be held on June 8, 2010, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.

League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara Dorothy Campbell, Measure J Chair
Citizens for the Carpintera Bluffs, Arthur Tello, Vice-Chair
Carpinteria Valley Association, Betty Songer, Boardmember
Los Padres Sierra Club, Stephen Dougherty, Steering Committee Member
Citizens Committee Against Paredon Initiative, Louise Moore, Treasurer

Argument Against Measure J2010

Measure J is wrong for Carpinteria and no amount of money can change that.

Written by the Venoco oil company, Measure J creates exemptions in Carpinteria's General Plan solely to benefit Venoco. In the long-term, our community will be left with the scars of an oil drilling project that operates day and night, seven days a week, for 20 years or more. The project, with its huge drill rig, noxious odors and constant noise, would be located right by residential neighborhoods, our prized beaches, the Bluffs Nature Preserve and the Seal Sanctuary.

A third party analysis concluded that the Paredon Project would pose risks to the health and safety of our community, including possibilities of well blowouts, explosions, pipeline failures and release of toxic chemicals. Incredibly, Measure J was written to exempt Paredon from important local oversight applied to other oil facilities in Santa Barbara County.

When the City's review process identified numerous safeguards that should be applied to the Paredon Project, Venoco quit the process. They rejected many of these safeguards and maneuvered to get Measure J on the ballot. They even wrote a provision into the measure that allows them to change their project after it's been voted on! Measure J completely rewrites the rules by allowing a private development project to be approved outside the normal public review process, even though it poses numerous risks to our community. No project has ever been approved this way in Carpinteria before. Measure J paves the way for further abuse of the initiative process by other special interests.

Measure J is a direct threat to our planning, our health and safety, our neighborhoods, our environment and the quality of life of all Carpinterians. Because we know you care deeply for this wonderful community, we urge you to vote NO on Measure J.

The undersigned authors of the argument against ballot measure J2010 at the special primary election for the City of Carpinteria to be held on June 8, 2010, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.

Donna Jordan former Mayor
Mike Ledbetter, former Mayor
Gary Nielsen, former Mayor
Dick Weinberg, former Mayor

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure J2010

Opponents of Measure J had to sign a statement saying their statement was true. It is not. They signed an argument that is untrue to "scare" voters. Here are the facts:

With or without passage of Measure J, oil and natural gas will continue to be extracted offshore and processed in Carpinteria for years. Measure J allows for two things: 1) use of existing facilities to extract offshore oil and natural gas in a cleaner, more environmentally sensitive manner that many environmental groups support; 2) a significant increase of needed revenue for our community. We are residents of Carpinteria and neighbors of the Venoco facility. Venoco is a good neighbor. Passage of Measure J will allow the safer, cleaner operation of the new systems with greater environmental regulatory oversight by Coastal Commission; Air Pollution Control District; Regional Water Quality Board; ; and Fire Department.

There is no danger to neighborhoods, beaches, bluffs or seals. The improved facilities will lessen the risks. Opponents are trying to scare you with arguments they know are untrue. Proposed new technology to be approved by Measure J allows cleaner, safer and quieter processing of natural gas and oil. Measure J allows Carpinteria and the County to receive up to $200 million in royalties and revenue - money they currently are not receiving. These funds will support Carpinteria schools, city services and purchasing open space.

Opponents would rather the city cut services and raise taxes than find better ways to manage our city.

Please vote YES

Jim Drain
Chris Gahan
Alice Larsen
Vernon Mesick
Joseph Lazaro

Full Text of Measure J2010
The full text of Measure J can be found at:

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