Recent events playing out at the federal level will have major implications for the South-Central coast, especially in the arena of oil and gas development. As discussed in this blog, the Administration has recommitted to scientific integrity, paused offshore leasing, and resumed the process for designating new national marine sanctuaries. These actions could have a profound ripple effect in Santa Barbara County. This blog will explore the direct impacts that the Biden Administration’s recent actions may have on three cases handled by the Environmental Defense Center.
In late 2020, Santa Barbara County announced several efforts to reduce carbon emissions, increase community resilience, and prepare for climate impacts. This article will explore these initiatives through two conversations. Garrett Wong is the Climate Program Manager for the County’s Sustainability Division and is responsible for leading the development of the County’s new 2030 Climate Action Plan. Katie Davis is the Chair of the Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter and she also serves on Sierra Club California’s Executive Committee Board. Her roles with the Sierra Club provide her with a unique vantage point to see how local actions can best plug into California’s statewide goals.
Inspired in part by two proposed projects located in the Cat Canyon Oil Field, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to finalize a General Conservation Plan for Oil and Gas Activities in Santa Barbara County. The Plan covers 674,220 acres throughout the County, including coastal areas, and would open the door for more dirty fossil fuel energy generation in areas that support a mosaic of natural habitats for protected species.