The new year is a great opportunity to reflect on our daily habits and consider ways that we can become…
A recent article from the L.A. Times makes a strong case that Independently Owned Utilities (IOUs) are more expensive than…
CEC Board Emeritus Paul Relis, who helped start the grassroots environmental movement with the Community Environmental Council after the 1969…
Dave Davis, President & CEO of the Community Environmental Council (CEC), released the following statement today in response to yesterday’s…
Measure P – the Healthy Air and Water Initiative – would protect our air, water, and public health by banning new risky, polluting oil extraction techniques in Santa Barbara County. Unfortunately, the oil industry that is funding the opposition is spreading misinformation regarding the true impact of this measure. As an attorney who assisted in the drafting of Measure P, I am compelled to set the record straight so the voters can base their opinions on the true facts.
On November 4, we will be going to the polls to make Santa Barbara County the first major oil-producing region in the nation to ban high-risk oil extraction techniques. It is a chance to protect the people of our county from extreme forms of oil development that are severely damaging communities around the US.
Here in Santa Barbara County we have co-existed with the oil industry for a long time and if Measure P passes in November, will continue to do so. The initiative exempts all current oil operations and so does not affect any current oil jobs or revenue. It also doesn’t limit future oil wells using conventional techniques.
Long before she made a name for herself as a cultural writer for the Santa Barbara News-Press, Joan Crowder was a volunteer editor of the Santa Barbara Survival Times, a fledgling monthly magazine published by CEC in the aftermath of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill.
Today, with the announcement of new carbon regulations, the Obama administration is using authority granted to the E.P.A. by the Clean Air Act to tackle the U.S.’s largest source of carbon pollution: over 600 coal-burning power plants. The proposed regulations would seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from these power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
On April 22 – the official, nationally designated Earth Day – my email box blows up. Not just from the usual business of managing our local Earth Day festival, but from the mass of e-newsletters and Facebook posts calling attention to the day. They come from every corner of society. A statewide religious consortium. Elected officials. A local attorney’s office. Some are fluff, others are sincere calls for action, and others call into question what it’s all for.
For several decades now, scientists have anticipated that climate change would likely trigger increasingly severe droughts, especially in places like semi-arid Southern California. The state is, of course, in the midst of a merciless drought, and last Friday, state officials announced that for the first time in its 54-year history the State Water Project would not deliver water to 29 local water agencies serving 25 million residents and nearly 750,000 acres of farmland.
For businesses throughout Santa Barbara County, making the initial decision to go green is often the easiest part. But identifying which green practices—from recycling and reducing waste to conserving or even generating energy—make the most economic sense and implementing them can be a herculean task all of its own.
In the past few weeks, much has been written about the Board of Supervisors' decision to approve the Santa Maria Energy Oil and Gas Project, and to allow it to emit at least 10,000 tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs) annually, despite the objections of numerous organizations and individuals who either asked the Board to deny the Project or require complete mitigation (to zero) of its GHG emissions. For many of those advocates, including the Environmental Defense Center, Community Environmental Council, Get Oil Out!, Los Padres Sierra Club, Santa Barbara County Action Network and Santa Ynez Valley Alliance, the Board's action was at least an improvement over the decision of its Planning Commission, which would have allowed the Project to increase its emissions more than five-fold. Others have complained that the Board "went too far," and several points of now-contentious discussion have emerged. On behalf of the above groups who appealed this Project to the Board, I would like to correct and/or clarify some misconceptions.
CEC, the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST), and the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition developed a questionnaire for Santa Barbara…
Those of us who live in Santa Barbara know that one of our greatest local treasures is the abundance of fresh produce, meat, and seafood that can be sourced regionally. However, you might be surprised to find out that while Santa Barbara County is in the top 1% of agricultural producing counties in the U.S., 95% of the produce we eat is imported. In more extreme cases, the food we eat was sourced locally, shipped overseas for processing and sent back to Santa Barbara to end up on your plate. Take calamari for example.
Recently in Not Your Father’s Carpool Part 1, CEC reported on new findings by U.S. Pirg indicating that young people are buying fewer new cars and driving less – demanding a new American Dream that is less dependent on the one-car-per-person model.
Coupled with this is another trend: the rapid development of social media and mobile technology that make it easier for people to connect directly with someone who has something they need.