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Comments by Eckermann

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Posted on October 17 at 9:17 p.m.

First and foremost, the sales taxes of residents (and tourists) in Santa Barbara County should not be used to pay for the widening of 101. State and Federal tax revenues should pay for such a project. Secondly, today, by ill planning and bad luck, I found myself driving from Ventura to Santa Barbara just at commute hour. I arrived at Milpas at 5:00 PM exactly and within less than a half mile it was a parking lot (actually about 20 mph). So this is three lanes without a two-lane bottleneck all the way to Fairview. By the time I got to Fairview, there was no congestion. So it appears as if three lanes is (are?) not the answer to commute time congestion. Considering the fact that we do not need congestion relief at any other time, why the heck are we spending several hundred million dollars on this stupid project? Remember the lights on 101 through Santa Barbara? Those were the halcyon days of yore. I understand that Schneider is trying to shake down SBCAG for some more money for City infrastructure projects; but that's just politics as usual. The bigger questions is: Why are we paying for this debacle?

On Mayor Blasted for Alleged Conflict-of-Interest

Posted on October 13 at 2:11 p.m.

Well nativegeo, in DOGGAR District 3 (which includes Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Cruz Counties) there are currently over 17,000 oil wells. Since oil was discovered in California, countless thousands of other wells have been drilled, produced, and abandoned in Santa Barbara County, so many in fact that there does not exist an accurate database of where all the old abandoned wells are located. As I recall, SME got their permit to drill their wells, so permitting issues do not seem to be the impediment to SME drilling wells. There are a lot of things that determine whether or not wells get drilled. While the permitting process is neither easy nor cheap, it is designed to issue permits. In fact, I would bet that you could not determine when the last time a permit to drill an oil well was denied in Santa Barbara County. I would hate to guess "never" because never is such a long and open ended time frame. However, I would guess that the number of times that a permit to drill has been denied in the entire history of Santa Barbara County is closer to 0 that it is to 10. I would never assume that "facts" are on my side. Facts stubbornly refuse to take sides, which makes facts so reliable and trustworthy when forming opinions. I recommend them to you nativegeo.

On Dodging Measure P Oil Slicks

Posted on October 12 at 9:19 p.m.

Well 14noscams, if you want to parse lies versus the truth, to get permits for a 1,000 new wells would not necessarily require 1,000 permits. The way it works is that the oil company applies for a permit for "the project," which could be one well or 100 wells or 1,000 wells. The analysis gets done on the "project." Typically, oil companies apply for the maximum amount of development that would require the minimum amount of mitigation. Consequently, they will choose just the number of wells that will not require air pollution offsets or other CEQA related mitigations so that the project can sail through the permitting process with the least amount of effort and expense. Wells themselves don't result in a great deal of impact that has to be mitigated, so the limiting factor is usually the associated infrastructure (e.g., tanks, heaters, separators, etc.). The oil companies will typically cram in as many wells as is possible under an infrastructure scenario that would require the least amount of mitigation. That's the way it works. 1,000 wells could be as few as 10 permits. I recommended that you restrict your posts to stuff you know about.

On Dodging Measure P Oil Slicks

Posted on October 11 at 9:01 p.m.

Prenatt is a predator and a con man. The people he conned are fools. There is a saying about not being able to con an honest person and it rings true in this case. Prenatt's victims all thought that he was going to produce wealth at rates not available in more conventional investment options and they paid a heavy price for their faith in this flim-flam man's spiel. I understand the temptation. I hope my investments hold out for as long as I live, and I'm just as vulnerable as anyone to promises by con men that wealth can be conjured out of thin air. But alas, if it sounds too good to be true it is. Prenatt deserves every day he earned in the slammer. My advice to him is, don't try your con man ways inside. If you get caught the consequences will be much more sever than time.

On Prenatt Sentenced for $13 Million Ponzi Scheme

Posted on October 8 at 7:53 p.m.

I will give the oil companies credit in that steam stimulation of wells can be done safely. However, safe steaming requires that the well casings be redone in order to ensure that the casing can take the steam without breakout. Redoing the casings is expensive and not all oil companies are willing to incur that cost. Another factor in all this is what I call the 'three stooges factor." The oil patch is unfortunately full of stumblebums. The three stooges factor can make oil production activities unsafe and lead to environmental disaster. Look what happen in the Guadalupe Oil Field, where millions of gallons of diluent being injected to stimulate the wells leaked into the ground and found its way to the ground water and the ocean. In this case it was two stooges (decorum prevents me from naming them here) who both knew that they were losing diluent but assumed that they were just failing to recover it in the separation process and that it was going off with the product. The two stooges were either too lazy or too stupid to scientifically check their assumption. Another example (or multiple examples) is Greka and all the spills and silly mistakes that happened in that company's fields over several years. That was also a three stooges factor problem only is was more than a dozen stooges who were involved. Whenever an oil production operation is subject to the three stooges factor, the risks of environmental disaster rise significantly. Finally there is the energy inputs factor. If you are producing energy through the steam stimulation process, the fact that you are using natural gas to produce steam to pump into the ground and then using electrical power to pump the oil/water emulsion out of the formation, and using natural gas to heat the emulsion to separate the oil from the water mean that you will never get the energy units out of the final product that you put into recovering it. Steaming does not make any sense for extracting energy units. Of course if you are just producing asphalt (rather than energy) this does not apply. Except that using steam to produce asphalt simply increases the energy and carbon footprint of every unit of asphalt produced in that manner. For the foregoing reasons, I'm leaning toward a yes vote on P.

On Dodging Measure P Oil Slicks

Posted on October 1 at 8:04 p.m.

Unfortunately, when you create a game of cat and mouse, the mice always find a way to thwart the rules. Drawing a line of restricted parking will simply push the mice further out to other neighborhoods. In fact, I know people who live on the western part of Ellwood who have been awakened by the sound of barfing on their lawns early in the morning of All Saints Day (November 1st). On the other hand, something needs to be done to control this idiocy. One solution would be to hire tow trucks to tow all vehicles park on the street in Goleta and not registered in Goleta to some spot at least a mile away from where they are parked. This would leave the hung over party crowd wandering like zombies all over town looking for their cars for hours and hours on All Saints Day, giving them plenty of opportunity to reflect on the wisdom of attending a street party in IV.

On Goleta Looking at Halloween Parking Restrictions

Posted on September 30 at 8:07 p.m.

This is what can come of hiking with unleashed dogs. Dogs can rustle up and agitate all manner of critters such as rattle snakes, mountain lions, and bears. From which animals your dog is useless in defending you. If you hike with unleashed dogs be prepared for your dogs to get you into trouble with the local wildlife who really don't like to be snarled at by cowardly, sniveling curs. Coyotes will hunt down and eat your dog with relentless precision. Best to either keep your dog on a leash or leave it at home where it is safe and won't get you into conflicts with the various beasties out there in our hill country.

On Hunt for Bear Called Off

Posted on September 27 at 9:54 p.m.

Just the other day, I was driving through Santa Barbara on my way from Ventura to Goleta and I reach the Garden Street ramp at about 4:45 PM. As anyone who lives in Santa Barbara knows, the freeway is three lanes in both directions at that point. Suddenly, the freeway was packed with traffic. All three lanes bumper to bumper, flow slowed to slower than 25 MPH from Garden to Patterson in Goleta. While I was creeping along I had two thoughts: 1) This is no different than it was when there were traffic lights on 101 in Santa Barbara. We stopped for red and by the time the green light came on the road was clear ahead. And 2) three lanes does not appear to be the solution to commute time traffic and during non-commute time we don't need three lanes, so why bother? Well at least such a huge public works project will keep a lot of people working (all of them suffering under the illusion that they are employed by a private company like Granite Construction, but really they are government employees sucking on the tax tit). I don't imagine that all that concrete will solve anything.

On Clock Ticking Down on HOV Lane Appeal

Posted on September 26 at 12:58 p.m.

What is all this heavy breathing about the seeps. The seeps have been seeping since before humans arrived on the South Central Coast of California. There is no doubt that in all those years millions of barrels of oil and billions of cubic feet of gas have seeped from the seeps. The Chumash used this tar as part of a mixture used to seal the seams in their boats. The reason that there has not been a great deal of environmental damage from the seeps is because, while the volume is high it is spread out over a vast area and it seeps relatively slowly. Damaging man-made oil spills put a great deal of volume into the ocean very quickly and in a concentrated area so that the spill does not have the time and space to disperse to concentrations that are diluted enough to not cause harm. Shabazz seems to have a bad case of senioritis, fearing the transition into the working world. While it is probably too late for him to do himself a favor and change his major to a scientific field, engineering, or accounting, I would encourage him to relax. I graduated during one of the worst post World War II recessions ever and found a job and a career. My kids have found jobs after graduation. Shabazz, you will find a job and you will change jobs several times in your life. But it will most likely work out for you. Relax.

On Fracking and Wastewater Dumping Exposed

Posted on September 25 at 4:10 p.m.

At this point, I am neither strongly in favor or strongly opposed to Measure P. However, in the oil company rhetoric, I see the same rhetoric that they have been using for more than 40 years every time there has been an attempt to regulate their pollution or process safety methods. Like Chicken Little, they cry that the sky will fall (or maybe like the little shepherd boy they shout that the wolf was coming) if the regulation is adopted. Lo and behold the regulations were adopted and sky did not fall and the wolf did not appear. Oil production, processing, and refining activities continued as before only due to the regulations the activities polluted less and were safer. My question is: Since the sky did not fall and the wolf did not appear after the previous warnings, why should I believe them now?

On Robert Redford Endorses Measure P

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