Opinion: Petitions are good. We need more than good.

Petitions are good. It shows an engaged, responsive, active, organized consensus of the people demanding change. And sometimes, not always, these efforts get results and things change.

However, petition efforts alone always run the risk of falling on deaf ears and agencies and elected officials exercising their discretionary “we don’t give a damn what you want” option.

So it is always wise to have a back up plan at the ready that works in concert with rallies, marches, petitions and can deliver a message that can’t be ignored. Our back up plan is legal notice delivered to our elected officials to do their job or else.

Here is the flaw, weakness, in asking the EPA to do their job and why it doesn’t always work. Truth be told it is not the EPA’s job to write the laws that protect and keep us and the environment safe. Their job exclusively and by law is to make rules and regulations for the industry that insure the industry is in complete compliance with the law the lawmakers write to protect us and our environment.

Lawmakers, our elected officials, write the Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, Resource and Conservation Acts and tell the EPA and administrative agencies in charge of those industries to write the rules and regulations that insure the industry complies to the letter with those laws.

The problem with that of course is regulatory agencies tends to operate in a nebulous under-the-radar-Bermuda-triangle-zone. No official government appointed oversight committees keeping an eye on them 24/7 making sure they are doing their job.

That is when environmental organizations like Food and Water Watch and a host of other NGO Rise and Shine and alert the communities to nefarious activity going on in their backyards because the regulatory agencies are MIA. Hence, petitions, marches, rallies and demonstrations raising awareness.

This is good but we can do better and here is how and why.

Federal Laws and Regulations

Federal laws generally apply to people living in the United States and its territories.

Congress creates and passes bills. The President then signs those bills into law. Federal courts may review these laws and strike them down if they think they do not agree with the U.S. Constitution. The Clean Air, Water, Safe Drinking Water and Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts are in full working order. No strike downs.

Federal Regulations

Regulations are issued by federal agencies, (EPA) boards, or commissions. They explain how the agency intends to carry out a law.

The Rulemaking Process

Federal regulations are created through a process known as rulemaking.

By law, federal agencies must consult the public when creating, modifying, or deleting rules in the Code of Federal Regulations. This is an annual publication that lists the official and complete text of federal agency regulations.

Once an agency decides that a regulation needs to be added, changed, or deleted, it typically publishes a proposed rule in the Federal Register to ask the public for comments.

After the agency considers public feedback and makes changes where appropriate, it then publishes a final rule in the Federal Register with a specific date for when the rule will become effective and enforceable.

When the agency issues a final rule for comment, it must describe and respond to the public comments it received.

And there it is and that is where we come in with our marches, rallies protests and petitions objecting to their total disregard of all the health and safety laws that are suspiciously absent from their final response.

But as you can see the decision has already been made at this point and hearings are a mere symbolic gesture to satisfy the public hearing laws. Telling us what they are going to do is not the same as using the information we give them to make the changes that insure our well being.

The agency decides what is within their rulemaking power to change. In this case they are changing the rules they wrote on what is regarded as ‘safe’ radioactive levels because it is what they can do. Arbitrary rulings without scientific facts are what set the environmental groups, in this case Food and Water Watch into high alert.

Rulemarkers can make exceptions to their own rules and they do that on a regular basis. They can grant exemptions and waivers to the rules because they can
.
They can’t, however, change the law. That is written in stone by our lawmakers and our rights to Clean Air, Safe Drinking Water toxic free environment remains unchanged regardless of what the EPA is saying and doing.

Exemptions to those laws do not constitute an amendment which is the only thing that can change a law. Amending a law requires a very tedious and time consuming vetting process by a concerted effort from our elected officials.

Clean Air, Water, Safe Drinking Water et al remain fully in tact and unchanged.

So, why are we even having this discussion about the levels of toxic radioactive waste in our water? What does this petition have to do with us and our rights to clean, safe drinking water? The law is the law and nothing has changed. Right?

Well almost right but not quite. What is changing is EPA’s rules and regulations and how they are going to insure industry is in strict accordance with our laws.

Remember, legally EPA rules have nothing to do with us. We are not subject to them or do they change the law. EPA rules and regulations are strictly an internal, operational mechanism.

The problem is our local lawmakers and elected officials are under the delusion that the EPA rules are a substitute for the laws and therefore their job is to comply with EPA exemptions, rules and regulations.

They couldn’t be more wrong. And their act of dismissing and ignoring our rights under the law in support of a third party entity, the EPA, is so wrong it is illegal. And that is where our official legal action comes into play and in concert with the environmental organizations.

NGO environmental groups are on patrol 24/7 on our behalf making sure government agencies are doing their job enforcing rules and regulations on the industry that prevents harm to the public and environment.

They implement their discoveries with a call to action and lawsuits against the agencies. That’s one front.

Now our job, as residents and voters is to exercise our right under the law to insist our elected officials do their job or else. Their job is to make sure that any entity that has been issued an agency oil drilling, fracking, toxic waste injection exemption to our State and Federal laws is unequivocally and without hesitation denied permission to violate our rights by denying a permit to do so.

Permitting the preempting of our rights is precisely what an exemption is meant to do and is unlawful.

Preventing the violation of our rights from occurring is precisely what our elected officials are sworn to do and must do by denying any and all preemptive permits harboring exemptions. And in so doing are upholding their sworn duty to keep us safe and healthy.

So, while the environmental organizations are taking care of business on the environmental front with calls to action and lawsuits we are taking care of business on the home front. We elected our Board of Supervisors, city councils to keep us safe and free from harm and now its our job to make sure they are doing theirs.

The simple official act of noticing our Board of their sworn duty to uphold our rights under State and Federal laws removes any misconception or notion that they might have been entertaining that doing the right thing and keeping their promise to keep us safe was an option. It’s not.

They do their job or else the courts will do their job and find them in contempt of a court order. And you know what that means?

Their willful disobedience of a court order has consequences. Their governing powers could be suspended or revoked. The courts are not giving them the option to obey the law and do their job. It’s, do your job and do it right or else they are out of there.

So, petitions, marches, rallies in concert with legal notice to local elect officials is the better than good needed to kick this call to action into high gear where it needs to be.

As we fight against the ‪#‎Frackopoly‬, we can’t forget companies like Exxon, which spent decades concealing studies that show fossil fuels are killing the planet.

Sign the petition to demand that the Department of Justice investigate and, if necessary, prosecute ExxonMobil for its climate change cover-up:

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Jeanne Zindorf Blackwell
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Could the Porter Ranch Blow-out happen in San Luis Obispo? Is the Pope Catholic?

How Methane Gas Turned California’s Porter Ranch into a Ghost town.

Here is  a sneak preview into the future of San Luis Obispo County if our Board of Supervisors gives into Freeport McMoRan.  It is all here in this article by Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/porter-ranch-california-methane-gas-leak-crisis-412807  


How Methane Gas Turned California’s Porter Ranch into a Ghost town.

 

The Arroyo Grande Oil Field is using the same agencies, the same regulations, the same arguments, the same insane reasoning to get our Board of Supervisors to give them permission to dump/store their own personally manufactured toxic, lethal waste byproducts into an unsecured, highly vulnerable underground holding area in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County.

If the Board of Supervisors is so inclined to accommodate this activity, and they look like they are despite all the evidence of the unintended consequences unfolding before our eyes, then they need a wake up call.

It must be so comforting and reassuring for some to know that what would otherwise be regarded as criminal activity on par with the manufacture of an underground meth lab with all the hazards, risks, threats of explosions, fire and spills can nonetheless be granted a pre-pardon from any wrongdoing by our Board of Supervisors who seem shamefully more afraid of offending Jubba the Hutt of the energy empire then keeping their promise to those that elected them to serve and protect.

 

Then there are the rest of us that need something more concrete from the Board that shows when push comes to shove they will make the right decision for the right reasons.

 

This is an election year. Three Board seats are up for grabs.

 

Incumbents of which there are two, Arnold and Hill, apparently can’t campaign or tell us where they stand on any issues currently pending before this board and there are enough issues to make your head spin, oil fields, oil trains, toxic sludge on prime A agricultural land, making it all but impossible to judge character and intent. They are all over the map. But never mind, campaign promises tend to be a little flaky at best – easily made – easily broken.

 

So, I think it would behoove us to get something in writing from this Board. Something that would hold up in court if need be. Something that would prove beyond a reasonable doubt who these Board members intend to protect and serve now and in the future.

 

We believe the essential ingredients necessary to secure our safety, health and prosperity in this community is an uninterrupted, consistent and constant supply of clean air, fresh water and fertile soil and we regard inordinate and fugitive amounts of toxic, lethal, chemicals and hazardous waste, manufactured in house or in transit to be a clear and present threat and danger to our health, safety and wellbeing.

 

So, we invite this sitting Board of Supervisors to join us in solidarity and as a declaration of our shared values and worth by calling for:
1) an immediate emergency moratorium/ban on all fresh water extraction in the unincorporated areas of SLO county subject to State and County emergency drought mandates currently in effect, and;

 

2) call for an emergency moratorium on water extraction used exclusively to manufacture toxic waste that contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and a variety of chronic ailments, including bloody noses, headaches, vomiting, rashes, asthma, respiratory and neurological disorders, and;

 

3) the issuance of an emergency prohibition on injection and storage of manufactured hazardous waste and hazardous waste byproducts into subterranean areas that are not in strict accordance with standards set forth in The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

 

This is a very simple, clear, concise and straightforward document that just needs a simple yay or nay from each individual Board member. In which case upon delivery of the emergency moratorium to the Board we will require their response and implementation at the next regularly scheduled BoS meeting. Emergency means act now not later.

 

An emergency moratorium/ban is well within the purview and discretionary powers of this Board. By the same token all that it takes to remove the moratorium/ban is enforcement of the existing laws that guarantee our safety, health and wellbeing.

 

This moratorium/ban is an invitation for the Board to join us and share in building a safe, peaceful, prosperous community we can proudly pass onto the next generation.

 

A community free from the fear of accidents, explosions, fires, chemical spills that threatens primary life forms in our rivers, streams, groundwater and growing fields, free from the fear of suffocating, sickening air our babies must breathe and to avoid at all cost everything that the Porter Ranch community is experiencing right now.

 

We invite the Board to think and share in our mindset of preventing a disaster rather than in how to sustain, mitigate and survive it.

 

By simply removing the cause is all that is needed to prevent immitigable effects from occurring. This moratorium/ban is that preventive measure that proves beyond a reasonable doubt who we can trust to do the right thing for all the right reasons.

 

Porter Ranch residents are now desperately begging and pleading with all the powers that be to help them restore their lives and livelihood to pre-accident conditions, to conditions free of the threat of accidents. Trying to put the genie back in the bottle.

 

We sincerely hope our Board realizes we have no intention of being the next Porter Ranch disaster and we will secure our future investments by insuring, at all costs, our greatest assets, the air, sea, land and water are protected and guaranteed free of predictable and preventable threats to our safety, health and wellbeing.

 

 

Round 2 – Are earthquakes an environmental issue?

PLANNING COMMISSION HEARING ON FREEPORT MCMORAN’S EXPIRED PERMIT. Thurs. NOV. 12 Last ITEM # 9. After 1:30 p.m. Email comments to the planning commission http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/planning/PlanningContactUs.htm? Make sure and include date and item # in the subject line. Be there if you can!!!

Environmental coordinator is maintaining nothing has changed in 10 years and is recommending approval of the permit. Hummmm…. I beg to differ.

What about the earthquake factor? Could an earthquake compromise the integrity of that ‘impermeable bowl’ that is housing billions of gallons of hazardous waste? That is the question before the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission Nov. 12. We can only hope they will make the right decision knowing that…

There were 132 earthquakes of 1.3- 3.3 magnitude in San Luis Obispo last year. A 3.3 earthquake in Atascardero on Oct. 29th. Was a stress test conducted at the Arroyo Grande Oil field on Price Canyon after that earthquake? Is there any monitoring system set up to measure what is happening sub surface? Can it be verified that there were no changes to the sub surface and the contents therein?

We are talking about billions of gallons of toxic wastewater sloshing around underground that is going to escape to the point of least resistance in an instance. That is just physics 101.

Earthquakes—Rattling the Earth’s Plumbing System http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-096-03/

Where is that point of departure? Where is that toxic water going and when? There are only 2 possible answers to that question. One answer is “I don’t know” and grounds for denial. Grounds for approval granted upon receipt of documented evidence of ‘imperameability.”

We know the Arroyo Grande Oil Field is made up of a fractured, layered, unmapped, uncharted formation. We also know we are subject to copycat earthquakes that can affect a 600 mile radius.
Earthquakes often happen when two tectonic plates that have been pressed together suddenly slip. But we’ve seen that major earthquakes like 1992’s Landers earthquake in California can also send out waves that spark copycat quakes 600 away, even though the waves get weaker as they travel.

This map shows we are right in the middle of where 2 tectonic plates meet. Hello. This is ground zero. And earthquakes in Baja, Mexico, Oregon, Arizona and at least 300 miles out in ring of fire territory can resonate right here in our own back yard.

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 9.28.09 AM

According to computer models, even weak waves at the right frequency could be enough to start a new quake by vibrating that grist into a more slippery, liquid-like layer. This is about frequency. You know that Tesla thing that can bring buildings down with the single ching of a tuning fork. Frequencies that can melt rock.

Liquid-like layer is liquefaction. Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of a soil is reduced by earthquake shaking or other rapid loading.

Liquefaction and related phenomena have been responsible for tremendous amounts of damage in historical earthquakes around the world. We are sitting on top of prime liquefaction real estate.

And other related phenomenon is when the rock melts beneath an aquifer and then you get sinkholes. We have all the ingredients for both. Blows ‘impermeable’ right out of the water.

http://www.nbcnews.com/…/gateway-hell-sinkholes-open-across…

The conclusion that this cone-like bowl is ‘impermeable’ does not hold water. As much as we would like to think we can out jargon Mother Nature’s capabilities I do believe the proof is in the pudding and permeability is in fact inevitable for the very simple fact that earthquakes are inevitable.

Earthquakes can pretty much render anything permeable and they do.

They are a force of nature beyond our control. And they can be devastating in their own right. But little ones like the 1.3 to 3.3 that seem to occur on a regular basis are not much to be concerned about and certainly are not life threatening unless you have billions of gallons of underground toxic waste looking for an escape route. Then all of sudden we have a little earthquake that becomes life threatening because of a condition we created of our own doing and that was totally preventable.

Always when this happens we are shocked and shunned that we miscalculated and allowing billions of gallons of toxic water to be disposed of in close proximity to certifiable, indisputable safe drinking water sources becomes an oh oops moment. Oh well, there’s plenty more where that came from. Oh wait, no there isn’t. This is it.

Water is non-renewable and limited. Kind of like the oil thing. Except for a couple of minor little details. Life depends on water. Without it life ceases to exist and the by-product is death and then you get oil. Dead fossils.

We can bring dead fossils back to life and create a quasi state of being with fossil fuels but we can’t make water.

We can use it, abuse it, waste it, contaminate it, kill it, manage it, regulate it, but we can’t make it. There is no quasi substitute for water. This is it. WHYSIWYG. And no matter how alarming or scary that thought is, it is the truth. There is just so much water to go around and wasting it is now regarded as a crime.

So on that note, In order to grant the extension to continue to dump toxic waste subsurface this commission I hope is prepared to show us that the fossil fuel god or its proxy, Freeport McMoRan, can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their impermeable bowl is earthquake proof with 8×10 glossy photos or data approved by the California Council on Science and Technology.

And, I certainly hope that this planning commission realizes that they will indeed be held responsible for their decision and they take into account what constitutes reckless disregard of facts and calculated risk.

Taking time off from work to be there.

This is important.

If  you can’t be at the meeting write your comments to

http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/planning/PlanningContactUs.htm?

Put:  SLO PLANNING HEARING NOV. 12 ITEM #9 in the subject line.

 

Sh*t happens

And this is a good thing. It is a normal bodily function that eliminates toxins and wastes in the body. The problem is when this normal bodily function malfunctions and we experience too much or none at all. Diarrhea and constipation can be life threatening.

We generally don’t think too much about what causes these problem until it becomes a problem. We are careful and try to avoid those situations we know will be a problem, like don’t drink the water in certain places which will give you a real run for your money or certain medications like Vicodin that will get rid of one kind of  pain  and cause a whole other pain in the rear.

Why am I bringing this up? Just to show I guess that avoiding situations we know are going to cause problems is always the best solution. We can’t always know what is going to trigger the trots or shut the whole process down completely. Food poisoning is one of those things we can’t know ahead of time and would avoid if we could.

And sometimes we know just more fiber or water will cure what is ailing us and then the good thing we want to happen, happens.  And we are happy campers again.

So, the moral of this story I guess is, consider the source of this infamous saying, sh*t happens. And if the source is someone trying to tell us their sh*t is going to cause diarrhea or constipation and that is a good thing we can tell them to Shell it up their rear-in. We know better.

Someone in particular was on my mind when I wrote this because they are using that phrase as a reason why we need to love and embrace their product. Their product is fossil fuels and the someone is Halliburton.

Their product causes violent uncontrollable spewing of toxic waste from sea to shining sea and they are proud and delighted to be able to shove it down our throats. I guess this was just my kind and gentle way of agreeing that yes sh*ts happens and yes it is their sh*t that causes problems I don’t want anything to do with because I know better.  In other words,  they can take their fossil fuel BM and put it where the sun don’t shine.

Opinion – San Luis Obispo is having an identity crisis

Trying to keep up with all that is going on in this county right now is mind boggling. I took a moment to reflect.

SLO County is having an identity crisis.

 

The 2012 Chevron fire and explosion in Richmond California is an excellent example of how an industry thrives on a crisis it creates. The world watched. It was like watching an old Seinfeld rerun we had seen for the umpteenth time.  Dodging the bullet is the industry’s modus operandi and while the governing boards are well aware of the conditions and terms of their agreement, which does indeed stipulate the industry is not liable, they tend to look the other way and hope nobody dies or anything happens that would expose their indiscretions.

 

Not until a disaster of this magnitude does the community realize they have been duped into believing everything was going to be fine just fine.  This is not to say though that the community does not bear some responsibility for allowing the indiscretions to prevail.

 

Now the community is united and up in arms.  Now they are demanding restitution and transparency. Unfortunately for those that died, homes destroyed, health forever impaired, restitution is impossible. If they had to do it all over again and know what they know today they would have done things quite differently.

 

SLO County is having an identity crisis. We are at an apex in our existence. Recognized world wide as leaders in fine wines, quaint get-aways, one of a kind views and vistas that only nature can provide, commingled with an inviting and embracing community anxious to share in our good fortune is SLO’s hallmark.

 

This atmosphere of congeniality did not happen by accident. Every nook and cranny, view and vista, butterfly and horny toad sanctuary, oak and morning glory preserve, land conservancy acquisition, tucked away historical building and pit stop, visiting whales and even the inconspicuous but none the less critical marine habitat are championed by a vibrant, engaged, committed community intent on preserving and protecting the ambiance that makes us who we are.

 

And then, quite unexpectedly, we were discovered by alien forces and not in a way that perpetuates our quality of life but rather challenges it to the core.

 

Accident prone bomb trains slithering into our midst, immune, exempt-ridden oil drillers seeking refuge in our protected, precious aquifers, convicted criminals of mass deception, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant demanding permanent resident status, all converging upon us at once, all demanding an audience with the gatekeepers of our destiny, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.  The buck stops there.

 

The alien forces have formed a vortex and what happens next will define our existence for generations to come.  Clearly what is at stake here is two diametrically opposed forces, greed motivated profit and profit to sustain quality of life and lifestyles.

 

When the Board was approached with what would seem like an obvious no-brainer of a decision for elected officials sworn to uphold our safety, health and well being and a simple vote refusing to admit the inherently dangerous, bomb trains, nuclear power plant sitting on 12 faults lines that could be easily triggered by oil drilling operations a mere 5 miles away, drew instead blank stares and insincere platitudes.

 

We could take to heart all those who have suffered irreparable harm by unscrupulous and incorrigible industrial belligerence and act on it to prevent an instant replay in our community.

 

What if every man, woman and child that will most assuredly be adversely effected by bomb trains, toxic drinking water, suffocating air, is in the blast zone, sitting on top of a fault line, shows up on the steps of the County court house and delivers an open proclamation to our Board of Supervisors?  NO OIL TRAINS. NO OIL DRILLING. NO NUKES. NOT NOW. NOT EVER. JUST NO. NO MEANS NO.

 

We deliver the proclamation with a resolution demanding they sign it at the next Board of Supervisors meeting-effective immediately. We all show up for that too.  The world will be watching San Luis Obispo show how you become the change you want to see in the world.  This is who we are.

 
So that said folks let me just kind of top that off with an announcement about a documentary that was a game changer for communities where ever it was shown.  The truth has a way of doing that. The documentary is called Split Estate . All I had to do was mention to Bob Banner that we needed to see this and he took care of the details. Steynberg Gallery May 26, 7-9. Here’s the trailer and info.  http://www.hopedance.org/events/eventdetail/973/-/split-estate-film-discussion-fracking

Thank you all for being here and caring.

Jeanne

My response to Op Ed “How the word ‘fracking’ is used as a political scare tactic”

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2015/02/22/3502018_how-the-word-fracking-is-used.html?rh=1

How the word ‘fracking’ is used as a political scare tactic

BY JOHN Peschong  John Allan Peschong served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration and as a senior strategist for the campaigns of President George W. Bush. He is a founding partner of Meridian Pacific Inc., a public relations and affairs company, and serves as chairman of the San Luis Obispo County Republican Party. His column appears twice a month in The Tribune, in rotation with liberal columnist Tom Fulks.

 Special to The Tribune February 22, 2015

​That is a great headline Mr. Peschong. Got my attention. As a mom and concerned citizen who loves living here I can agree that word ‘fracking’ can be very scary.

Having raised 3 kids in what can be a very scary world I found educating myself with facts along with some good old fashion common sense was a great antidote for scary. And while we may agree or disagree on opinions, facts speak for themselves.

So, I want to make sure I understand the premise you are presenting here and what I am hearing is, ballot measures written to prevent harm are dishonest and deeply flawed.   That is very interesting. I was not aware of that fact.  I was of the opinion that laws were mainly written to insure the safety, health and well being of individuals and the community they share in common with each other.

Our legal system based on your premise then must be fatally flawed as it is inundated with laws that prohibit harmful behavior.

There are guns laws, wash your hands laws, workplace ladder laws, stop sign laws, food handling laws, electrical wiring laws, house building laws, business license laws, chemical handling laws, air and water pollution laws all written with the intent of preventing harm and keeping us safe and healthy.

​You mentioned ‘fracking’ bans in particular in cities and counties across California as being dishonest and deeply flawed based on the fact that no ‘fracking’ was taking place there.

This is not to say it couldn’t and if the opportunity presented itself more than likely would, if there was not a law preventing it.   As for here in SLO the industry has stated they have no intention of fracking in Price Canyon or Huasna.

Of course that is not to say they couldn’t change their mind and without a ban there is nothing to prevent them from doing it.

My confusion on this issue is, if there is no intent to frack here what is all the fuss about a ban on something you have no intention of doing? Unless of course you do intend to frack in which case your opposition makes more sense.

I also appreciate your concern about the cost of an election. It would be costly if we had to go to an election but the Board of Supervisors could offset that cost by just signing the measure into law once it is certified by the county clerk.

The cost of an election however would pale in comparison to the cost of a cleanup of an industry that has a history of accident, spills, explosions, fires, human and environmental violations.

Richmond CA is a good example. The Chevron Refinery fire that killed 8 people displaced and disrupted 15,000 lives and was subject to what you have referred to as the best laws in the country.

Two years down the road people are still struggling to recover costs and damages caused by the ‘accident’ as Chevron denies any wrongdoing or liability, responsibility for harm and damages the fire and explosion caused.

Chevron was cited after the fact for 3,700 violations of the best regulations in the county. The best laws in the country are useless if they are not enforced.

Chevron made $26 billion that year, paid out about 2 million in fines and settlement, drop in the bucket. It cost the city 6.1 million dollars in lost tax revenue from destroyed homes and businesses. I wonder if that includes cost of repairs to the infrastructure?

A special election would cost about $70,000. Still it pales in comparison to what it cost to partner up with an business that refuses to assume any of the liabilities for its operation and shows utter contempt  disrespect and disregard for the safety, health and well being of others.

I will have to respectfully disagree with you and your colleagues, Mr. Peschong but I think New York has the best Fracking laws in the country not California.

San Luis Obispo ban ‘fracking’ in 1986, city ordinance 17.92.020 well before the colloquial term ‘fracking’ was in use nonetheless I don’t see any rigs in SLO.  Flawed and dishonest ordinance?

On the subject of definitions I have found the oil industry the primary source of most of the confusion. They keep saying they have been fracking for decades.  And then they say no fracking is going on.

So which is it?   You really can’t have it both ways.

Perhaps one of your own put it best and we can use his definition.   “Fracking and drilling are not the same thing,” said University of Houston engineering professor Michael Economides, who consults for drillers on fracturing. “We drill wells. Then we frack.”   Yup its the same.

Confusion begets the oil industry. They are champs at ambiguities. Classic case in point. The Halliburton Loophole.

Definition of a Loophole.

A loophole is an ambiguity or inadequacy in a system, such as a law or security, which can be used to circumvent or otherwise avoid the intent, implied or explicitly stated, of the system.  A flaw.

What this means is the oil industry is granted a pardon, special dispensation,  from any wrongdoing or harm to our air, water, drinking water, flora fauna, as a result of their extreme, unconventional, enhanced, well stimulation, oil extraction process, aka ‘fracking.’

I am sure a person of your experience and influence can understand how a mother such as myself concerned first and foremost for the safety, health and well being of her family and every mother’s child for generations to come could trust a entity that used all its power and influence to get themselves exempted from all the things I hold precious, a safe place to call home.

I can’t begin to understand the complexities, absurdities, intricacies of a highly specialized and confounding political system that we are living in today. I leave that up to the experts such as yourself.

What I do want is to be able to do is keep my promise to my kids and grand kids and leave them a future I can be proud of, safe clean water, fresh air and healthy soil. All the ingredients needed for a prosperous and abundant life.

In all of my research on this issue of fracking, Mr. Peschong, I have not been able to find one single solitary contribution to those ends.

I agree with all those little cities and towns, counties and communities, States and countries that have passed and are in the process of passing bans and moratoriums on a industry that seems to operate counter intuitive to common sense and logic. On this we may disagree and that is o.k.

Jeanne Blackwell

The safety of the people is the supreme law. Bacon’s Max. in Reg. 12; Broom’s Max. 1.  Prevention is better than cure. Co. Litt. 304.  “In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell.

Very Interesting. Mimi Kallard, President, SLO former Grand Jurors’ Association

sent via email to me, Jeanne Blackwell @ jeannewater@gmail.com on Nov. 17, 2014, in response to Newsletter # 24, All Hands on Deck.

 

Mimi writes:
“Ask anyone who has served on the grand jury and they will tell you that sending 25 petitions to ask them for an investigation is exactly the wrong way to proceed.  This is the opposite of spectacular.  A civil grand jury does not respond to being bombarded with complaints. If anything, it will annoy the hell out of them.  Furthermore, grand juries do not respond to requests to hurry up.  They choose which complaints to investigate, and many are not taken up at all.  They have no obligation to respond.  You will not hear back from them one way or another.  I recommend that you go to the Superior Court website and read the section about the grand jury.

 

 

Mimi Kalland, President

SLO Former Grand Jurors’ Association”

 

My response:

Thank you Mimi for taking the time to educate me on my civic duty and what we can expect from a jury of our peers. It appears reprimand is well within your parameters and you can and will not hesitate to exercise that power.

Thank you for letting me know that the grand jury regards multiple complaints on a single subject matter as a reason to automatically dismiss every single person’s right to file a complaint.  It is important to know that you judge the complaints not by their content but rather by the mere fact that there are too many. And is 2 too many? What is that number Mimi and how are we to know which complaint, which person, triggers automatic dismissal?

It would appear you have no problem reprimanding as is very apparent by the air and tone of your message.  If I did not take my civic duty to alert a vested seated jury of my peers who have vowed to keep a watchful eye over the intent and behavior of our public officials to heart, I would find your message to be a warning, the consequences of which is condemnation and censuring of our actions.

Was that your intent Mimi?  Because I have to tell you that is exactly the impression I am getting from your message.

“A civil grand jury does not respond to being bombarded with complaints. If anything, it will annoy the hell out of them.”   This sounds like a warning to keep our concerns to ourselves lest it becomes an annoyance and inconvenience to those serving on our behalf.   It sounds like the grand jury regards  “too many complaints” as a nuisance and source of irritation that gives you reason enough to rule them “out of order.”

I was unaware that it is our duty and responsibility as citizens, when filing a complaint to insure that it does not cause you any inconvenience. Unaware also that we should be very cautious to make sure we do not exceed an arbitrarily decided upon number of complaints that would trigger an annoyance and therefore automatic dismissal of our concerns.

I think your message is very clear Mimi. You are discouraging your fellow citizens from participating in a basic fundamental principle of our democracy. A right to petition our government for redress of grievances. Our basic fundamental right to be heard and our concerns recognized and addressed in a civil and consistent manner.

We are taking our civic duty and expectations of what constitutes a fair, honest, efficiently run governing body very seriously. That is why we thought it prudent and vigilant and choose to contact the grand jury with the hopes that they, more than anyone, would take these concerns to heart as well they should. And the more people that become civic minded and involved in what is going on in their community the better. Spectacular.

Being reprimanded and berated for doing the right thing in alerting the grand jury to the belligerent and arrogant behavior of our elected officials who feel quite confident in arbitrarily disregarding the concerns of over 74,000 people does prove one thing.

You do have the power and authority to reprimand and can “hurry up” if so motivated. Seems the number of complaints to the grand jury did prompt a “hurry up” response as is indicated by you email.  So this same power and authority used to reprimand and censure the citizens could in fact be applied to the subjects of the complaint, The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. Good to know Mimi. Thank you.

This is very useful information and I will do my very best to get this information out there. This is a matter of public interest. I find it encouraging.

Doing the right thing prevents unintended harm from occurring.  Filing a citizens complaint and seeking a remedy is the right thing to do. And everyone who has been harmed and is seeking a remedy has a right to file a complaint. Discouraging and threatening the citizenry from doing the right thing is wrong.

Using your power to discourage, with threats of reprisal to dismiss the right to be heard, is an abuse of power.  And ironically enough that is exactly what the complaint against the Board of Supervisors is all about.  The Board of Supervisor’s consistent and repeated failure to respond to the concerns of the people shows intent and knowledge of their power and the subsequent abuse thereof.

And I think more than anything your letter will serve as an inspiration for more people to do the right thing as a matter of honor and integrity and ‘bombardment’ the end result.

Since your email was sent to me in response to the newsletter I sent out I will make sure everyone on that list gets your letter.

As well as this response back to you.  That only seems fair and the right thing to do.

The only thing truth has to fear is concealment.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Jeanne Blackwell

 

Jeanne Blackwell
jeannewater@gmail.com

SLO Clean Water Action.org
The safety of the people is the supreme law. Bacon’s Max. in Reg. 12; Broom’s Max. 1.  Prevention is better than cure. Co. Litt. 304.