Blowout in Carpinteria! Landslide victory for “No on Measure J” campaign
CARPINTERIA, Calif. – June 8, 2010 - With votes still being counted, Carpinterians went to bed Tuesday night rest assured there would be no oil and gas development in their seaside town in the foreseeable future. By 10:30 p.m., Measure J, Venoco, Inc.’s [NYSE: VQ] highly controversial oil and gas initiative had received less than 35 percent of the town’s absentee ballot votes.
“We felt that Venoco’s misuse of the initiative process was inappropriate and their attempted hostile takeover of our small city completely unacceptable,” said Donna Jordan, former Carpinteria mayor and co-chair of the grassroots Citizens Campaign Against Paredon Initiative [Citizens CAP].
If it had passed, Measure J, aka the Paredon Project, would have allowed a 140-foot drill rig to dominate the Carpinteria coastline; create risks of blowouts, oil spills, and toxic vapors; generate excessive noise, air and light pollution; prohibit local regulatory oversight, and endanger pristine beaches, the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve, and a rare Harbor Seal Rookery.
The No on Measure J campaign, using the theme “Get informed; get involved,” focused on disseminating detailed factual information about the initiative as well as on bringing the community together to raise awareness about the need to protect Carpinteria’s unique natural assets. Campaign event highlights included a Paddle Out Against Paredon involving a beach gathering of an estimated 500 surfers, concerned residents, and community organizations; a Surf Art Show fundraiser featuring the work of 11 local artists that drew some 300 people; and the June 4 Sidewalk Sign Rally, in which scores of NO on J sign wavers lined Carpinteria and Linden avenues, while an inflatable blimp soared 140 feet in the air to help voters visualize the massive height of the proposed Venoco drilling rig.
Tuesday evening, volunteers of the No ON Measure J grassroots campaign gathered at Cabo’s Baja Grill & Catina on Carpinteria Avenue as the votes were counted and the fate of the small city was determined.
“We are pleased and gratified by this vote. The people of Carpinteria have rallied passionately once again, as they did a dozen years ago to save the Carpinteria Bluffs, this time to soundly defeat Venoco’s Measure J,” said Ted Rhodes, CAP co-chair. “Hopefully, this sends two strong messages to those proposing large, risky projects for Carpinteria: You need to play by the rules and our town is not for sale!”
As of the most recent record filing date (May 22), Venoco Inc. had spent $596,469 in corporate funding on their “Yes on J” campaign, while CAP, in its “NO on J effort,” spent $80,910 in donations gathered from hundreds of citizens deeply concerned about saving their town.
About Citizens Committee Against Paredon Initiative – Citizens Committee Against Paredon Initiative (Citizens CAP) is a grassroots group of community volunteers deeply concerned about the future of our small town. Made up of Carpinterians from every walk of life and every political persuasion, we have come together because Carpinteria is facing a threat that could change not only the physical face but also the social fabric of our community. That threat is the Paredon Oil & Gas Development Initiative. Citizens Committee Against Paredon Initiative, P.O. Box 895, Carpinteria, CA 93014. www.CitizensAgainstParedon.org.
Media contact: Amy Orozco, firstname.lastname@example.org, (805) 284-2622