Beginning in early 2010, Venoco attempted to bypass the City and all remaining public environmental review of their application to the City of Carpinteria for a permit to construct a 140 foot high drilling rig on its current onshore site not far from the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve and the Viola Playing Fields. This oil and gas development project could have serious and signficant environmental impacts upon the Bluffs as well as, of course, upon the greater Carpinteria community. Posing as a so-called “people’s intiative” and using paid signature gatherers, Venoco was able to get their “Paredon Oil & Gas Development Initiative,” later renamed Measure J, on the June ballot in Carpinteria. Subsequently, the community mounted a huge grassroots campaign to defeat this measure. On June 8, 2010, voters of Carpinteria soundly defeated Measure J by a margin of 71% to 29% despite the fact that Venoco, the sole donor to the Yes on Measure J campaign, spent $800,000 in their efforts, outspending the grassroots opposition effort by a factor of almost 10 to 1.
For information on the recent community effort to fight Venoco’s Measure J, go to CitizensAgainstParedon.org.
Our Paredon Project Page will give you more information about Venoco’s earlier proposed Paredon Project, where the project was in the City’s planning “pipeline” before this flagrant Measure J attempt to bypass the public process occurred, and a legal challenge that was made to Venoco’s Measure J.