Opinion: How to hold politicians accountable

Every time a community tries to ban fracking to protect their water and environment the oil companies immediately threatens to file a lawsuit against the community claiming it is infringing on their right to earn a living. 9 times out of 10 all they have to do is threaten to sue and the leaders lay down and play dead and approve permits they know are going to be nothing but trouble down the road but are scared shit less to do anything about it. Or are paid to take heed of the threat or pay the consequences. Oil industry can make good on their threats.

So rather than ban fracking and infringing on their right to screw us over it is well within our purview to approving the permit on the condition that the operators and operation meets or exceeds all the State and Federal Regulations for disposal of toxic hazardous waste. We reserve the right to refuse to issue any permit to any operator that does not meet State and Federal licensing requirements and the site is not on the Federal registry as a hazardous waste disposal site.

The oil companies can not then claim we are infringing on their right to frack because we aren’t. They can frack away. What we are saying is that a condition precedent to getting a permit to frack or drill by means of any unconventional oil extraction process is that they have a license from the proper State and Federal Agencies to manufacture hazardous waste according to Code of Federal Regulations and a Bill of Lading designating the disposal of that manufactured hazardous waste to an official registered hazardous waste disposal site.

To date the Arroyo Grande Oil Fields are none of the above and Sentinel is not a licensed manufacturer of hazardous waste.

It would be well within our rights as taxpaying citizens and residents of this county to insist our elected officials do due diligence and deny any permits that are not properly licensed. We do have a case against any official body that fails or neglects to abide by and comply with State and Federal Rules and Regulation. After all we do have some rights too that we have been ignoring and that is our fault.

And just a p.s. here. An aquifer exemption is irrelevant and of no consequence to the permitting process.

Whereas an aquifer exemption declares a water source to be unfit for consumption is one thing. Getting a license to dispose of hazardous waste into that aquifer is a whole other process entirely and are not one in the same. One does not preclude the other.

An exemption is not an license to dump nor does it automatically qualify and register the site as an official hazardous waste disposal site.

So, I think it is time to think about who is going to be suing who for infringements on our rights to clean air and water and rights to be free from the fear of threats to our lives and livelihood by irresponsible, neglectful and belligerent elected officials who are not doing their job and following the rules that insure our safety health and well being.

If the oil industry has the right to file a writ of mandate against our elected officials then doesn’t that mean we have at the very lest the same right as a citizen and resident of this county?   I guess we will see. Have an APB out for attorneys to look at this.

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