No New Oil Wells in Santa Barbara County!

Sign our petition to Santa Barbara County here: Please Reject 750+ New Oil Wells!                      

The petition reads as follows…

Dear Santa Barbara County Supervisors and Planning Commissioners,

I respectfully urge you to be a voice for your constituents and reject the upcoming proposals for 750+ new oil wells from AERA, ERG and PetroRock. Many of these wells would use dirtier and riskier enhanced oil production methods that contribute to climate change and emit 4X as much carbon as traditional drilling. These projects would drill through the Santa Maria Groundwater Basin, which provides water for 12 cities and over 200,000 people – well castings often fail – potentially contaminating our largest water basin in the county. We should be transitioning to 100% renewable energy and investing in renewable energy infrastructure, not contributing to climate change and threatening our limited water supply in Santa Barbara County. Our new administration’s denial of climate change, determination to defund the EPA and weaken environmental protections, makes it all the more important that we stand strong against all extreme oil drilling methods in our county. Santa Barbara County residents overwhelmingly oppose extreme oil drilling, I urge you to deny all of these proposals and fight for an oil free Santa Barbara County.


Water Is Life Solidarity Rally #NoDAPL

Join Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition this Saturday, Sept 10th, for the “Water is Life” rally at De la Guerra Plaza in solidarity with the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. Opening ceremony with Chumash Elders at NOON. Speakers include Chumash leaders, environmental leaders, music by Native American flutist, Emiliano Campobello, and more!


Organizers will be accepting supplies which are greatly need by our brothers and sisters on the front lines, especially as weather is turning very cold. See list of items requested at bottom of this event description

#NoDAPL #WaterIsLife
More Information (visit Facebook event page here)

The Camp of the Sacred Stones and Red Warrior Camp, currently defending against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, are calling on allies across the world to take action from September 3rd to 17th on the pipeline companies and financial institutions working to build the pipeline.

Listen and learn more about Emiliano’s music here:

Supplies Needed:

warm camping gear and clothes are much needed. flashlights and batteries. Cooking supplies, tents, shade tents, shelving for the kitchens(there are 4 kitchens), hay for the horses, toys and books for the youth, shoes/boots and warm socks. Also very warm jackets. Snow season is not far off.

Read more background here:

Join Us! March to Break Free From Fossil Fuels


L.A. March to Break Free From Fossil Fuels: Our Health, Our Climate, Our Communities 

 May 14!

Saturday, May 14, 2016, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

200 N Spring Street Los Angeles, CA

Get on the bus from UCSB & SB! Buy tickets here (8:15 am-9:00 pm. $40 tickets *scholarships available. We are staying late to join local groups for dinner).

Click for info on: bus from SB to LALA march, and global month of action.

Californians will convene in Los Angeles, home to the nation’s largest urban oil field and the Porter Ranch gas blowout — the largest environmental catastrophe since the BP oil spill. Together we will demand that our elected leaders put an end to the oil and gas production that threatens our health, environment and future. This action is part of the climate justicemovement’s mass global mobilization throughout May.

We must keep oil and gas in the ground as we work toward a just transition and a safe, sustainable energy economy. This mass mobilization is the next big step for climate justice in California.

Looking forward to seeing you there and on the bus!

350 Santa Barbara

Reflections on Refugio

If you don’t want to read this long piece please sign these two petitions!

1. Santa Barbara City Council: Divest Now.

2. Governor Brown: Ban Fracking Now.


The oil spill happened, but you already knew that! We’re mad and sad and we’re organizing. What did you expect!

Why We Exist As 350 Santa Barbara

Part of our goal 2 ½ years ago in forming this group was to bring more fire to the community with a particular emphasis on climate justice.

Becca had read Bill McKibben’s Terrifying New Math article, and Colin and I had just got back from an intensive direct action training with Tar Sands Blockade in Houston, Texas. We each agreed that the environmental community here was much too sleepy for how serious the climate crisis is. We wanted to wake people up by bringing some grassroots take-it-to-the-streets energy, so we did!

Admittedly, we came off at times as as needlessly oppositional. I showed up to a county planner’s commission meeting dressed up as Darth Vader, pretending to be in support of an extraction project because it was “evil.” On my speaking slip I wrote that my name was “Darth Fracker.” Silly I know, but the point was to “rock the boat” of the “don’t rock the boat” culture here through humor and creativity.


We brought a lot of energy to a lot of events, such as the Climate Rally on July 27, 2013 and the Draw The Line rally we had on September 21, 2013. This is where our now famous 90 foot pipeline was born, which has been featured in the New York Times, and has been used at multiple rallies in California.

Santa Barbara Draws the Line with a 90' Pipeline!

Santa Barbara Draws the Line with a 90′ Pipeline!

SB Pipeline 2

We attempted to educate the community about climate change being a social justice issue that impacts some people more than others on the global scale.


And of course, we helped form a coalition called the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians, which took on Big Oil directly through a ballot initiative that tried to ban extreme oil extraction in our county.


b c

Chevron and their buddies spent over $8 million to defeat the fracking ban, outspending Water Guardians 20-1, resulting in a pretty bad loss. Alas, the most carbon intensive form of oil extraction in the world lives on in Santa Barbara County (cyclic steam injection, AKA steam fracking).

But the war on extreme extraction in California has really just begun. In February we helped get 2 buses full of people from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to Oakland to demand Governor Brown ban fracking. That was the biggest climate march California has ever seen, and it was led by our indigenous brothers and sisters at the frontlines of this global crisis. We were 8,000 people strong, and we had a great time up there.





Governor Brown will cave in to our demands eventually, and every signature on this petition helps — so please sign.  

In between then and now, Becca was hired by Food and Water Watch to continue efforts to ban the most extreme forms of energy extraction. She was even hired as a consultant with the World Business Academy to bring 100% energy solutions to the community. Colin has been working on GIS mapping projects linking the spatial and racial relationships between oil and gas development sites and proximity to schools. I’ve been mostly working on my graduate program to become a mental health professional and working two jobs, so I haven’t had as much time available to dedicate to this work…

But then…

The Horrible, Horrible Oil Spill


You probably know the details by now…

Over 105,000 barrels of crude oil mixed with Benzene and other dangerous chemicals ruptured out of a pipeline owned by Plains All American on May 19, 2015. It has been killing marine life daily, from SB to LA.


Some people in the community got out to the Gaviota coast in a totally volunteer, DIY capacity and started cleaning up. Some of them, who did work to stop the gang injunction in Santa Barbara last year, started their own new group called End Oil Now. They got national news!  

Some who were impacted by the 2010 BP spill in Louisiana wrote this open letter to them to warn them of the health effects of handling oil.  

Divestment activists in the Bay Area then brought to my attention the fact that the retirement funds our city relies on have over $100,000,000 invested directly in Plains All American! In total, the state retirement funds CalPERS, CalSTRS and the UC Pension System have over $500 billion invested in dirty energy companies. So I decided to replace the time I had been spending ocean swimming (giving that up for a while) to rekindle the city divestment conversation.  

So city council members… can you pass a resolution urging the state retirement funds our city relies on to divest? (Sign the petition here.)

Thanks if you came out to the ultra-positive #standinthesand rally last Sunday and, lots of respect if you instead chose the American Indian Movement healing ceremony at the Mission denouncing Junipero Serra at the same time. It’s too bad when important events conflict like that…

And……….. as always…………….. onward!!


350 Santa Barbara

Photos from The March for REAL Climate Leadership

Feb. 7, 2015
Some of our friends who helped us get over 130 people from our area up to Oakland and who had fun at the march! // Algunos de nuestros amigos que nos ayudó a conseguir más de 130 personas de nuestra área de hasta Oakland y que se divirtieron en la marcha !

IMG_6494 IMG_6483 IMG_6469 IMG_6466 IMG_6415IMG_648214174_448512458629861_780060049452422995_n10955703_448512465296527_3345144482179111724_n1505079_448512468629860_7944037743776716764_n10402563_448512518629855_7485021675301592426_n10928995_448512528629854_5690124950927863297_n10982472_448515925296181_5236027391165348561_n

The March for REAL Climate Leadership


Buy your ticket here:

Join the largest mobilization about climate change in California history!

On February 7th, Californians are coming to Oakland for a march calling for real climate leadership. Gov. Jerry Brown claims to be a climate leader, but his track record of supporting fracking means he’s anything but. While we’re experiencing one of the worst droughts in California history, the state continues to expand water-intensive oil and gas development –including fracking — and ship in tar sands and oil from the Bakken shale. That’s not climate leadership. On February 7th, Californians from across the state will gather in Oakland, Governor Jerry Brown’s backyard, to demand real climate leadership, now.

Bus Pick Up and Drop-off Times/Locations

  • TBA, Downtown, Ventura at 4:45am (departing promptly at 5am!!)
  • TBA, Downtown, Santa Barbara at 5:15am (departing promptly at 5:30am!!)
  • TBA, Downtown, Santa Maria at 6:15am (departing promptly at 6:30am!!!)


The bus will return to the pick-up locations in the late night of Feb 7th. Times: TBA. Times are subject to change but, no worries – it won’t be drastic!

Saturday, February 7th in Oakland. Join us!

Help us pass Measure P!


Help us make sure Measure P passes in November!

Over the last few months 350 Santa Barbara members have been part of a county-wide coalition aiming to ban fracking and other extreme forms of oil extraction in our region. This coalition, called the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians, successfully gathered enough signatures to put the ban on the November ballot. The ban is now called Measure P, and if it passes we will have successfully prevented a massive expansion of dangerous oil drilling techniques in our county.

If Measure P doesn’t pass, we can kiss all our local energy conservation efforts goodbye. The sheer scale of this prospective oil boom would more than double our county’s carbon emissions, effectively canceling out everything we have done to reduce our carbon footprints as individuals.

Measure P may be the most important political issue regarding climate change in our county’s history. If you want to see Measure P pass, help us get out the vote for November.

SB County Water Guardians File Initiative To Ban Fracking


For immediate release
March 18, 2014

Filing is first step to protect County residents’ health, environment and local resources City of Santa Barbara – Today, Santa Barbara County Water Guardians, a grassroots group of concerned local citizens, filed a notice of intent with the Santa Barbara County Registrar to circulate an initiative petition within the County of Santa Barbara to protect the County’s air, water, and health by prohibiting land uses related to fracking, cyclic steam injection and other high-intensity petroleum operations.

As oil companies plan to expand the use of high-intensity petroleum operations to extract oil and gas from the Monterey Shale and other formations across Santa Barbara County, public concerns grow. Chemicals involved in many of these operations are associated with serious health problems such as cancer and birth defects. The increased emission of air pollutants has been tied to a greater risk of asthma attacks and reduced agricultural yields. At the same time, the threatened proliferation of new wells threatens the County’s famed scenic vistas, robust tourism industry and quality of life.

Expanding high-intensity petroleum operations will also compete with agricultural and public uses for Santa Barbara County’s limited water supplies. With reports of groundwater contamination in four states related to these operations, Santa Barbara’s local farms and wineries could be devastated if a well casing fails or wastewater is mismanaged. Activities associated with these advanced drilling practices have also been linked to increased seismic activity, which is concerning for a County that sits on a number of active fault lines.

“Using these technologies, the petroleum industry would gain increased access to oil resources lying below our homes, farms and natural areas,” said Rebecca Claassen of Santa Barbara County Water Guardians. “The impacts and risks associated with high-intensity petroleum operations are too great for Santa Barbara County residents to accept.

In order to protect local resources and interests, we want to prohibit this land use before it further endangers human health and the environment in Santa Barbara County.”

The initiative will protect the health and environment of Santa Barbara County by amending the Santa Barbara County Comprehensive Plan and related codes to prohibit the use of any land within the County’s unincorporated area for fracking and other high-intensity petroleum operations. The initiative includes provisions to protect vested rights and constitutionally protected property rights.

Upon the County Registrar’s certification that proponents have secured the requisite number of signatures on the petition, the Board of Supervisors can elect to adopt the initiative or put the measure on the ballot for voters to decide this November. The measure is widely supported by a broad coalition of Santa Barbara community groups and environmental organizations.

Measures to ban fracking and high-intensity petroleum operations have been adopted in New Mexico, Colorado and New York, to protect public health and safeguard natural resources. In California, residents of San Benito County are also circulating an initiative petition to ban high-intensity petroleum operations in that county. The San Francisco law firm of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, which has extensive experience in land use and environmental issues, and attorney Nathan G. Alley of Limestone Law & Policy Advocates drafted the Santa Barbara measure.

Santa Barbara County Water Guardians is a growing coalition of concerned parents, professionals, farmers, students and others opposed to fracking and other high-intensive petroleum operations that threaten our water quality and supplies in Santa Barbara County.

We invite supporters to come to an April 5 kickoff party and to join our roster of hundreds of volunteers who will be gathering signatures to qualify our initiative for the November ballot at:

Bus trip to Sacramento – March 15

March15Invite CAFsmall

All aboard!

On March 15th THOUSANDS of Californians will descend on Sacramento to demand that Governor Brown ban fracking! Will you be one of them?

We’ve organized a bus that picks up in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. We’re hoping you’ll hop on the bus with us and join in the largest anti-fracking effort California has ever seen.

You can buy tickets here, or you can sponsor a ticket for someone to go in your place.

Just imagine: you’ll be on a bus full of 60 anti-fracking activists from your area – some you know and some you don’t! Then you’ll converge with THOUSANDS of others all over the state to demand the same thing: a ban on fracking in California!

Let’s not miss this historic opportunity!

350 Santa Barbara

PS. Email me directly for details:

The Santa Barbara News-Press is Anti-Environment


The News Press has a right to choose what stances they take and who writes their editorials. Likewise, residents of Santa Barbara have a right to object when that choice runs counter to our community values.

The News Press editorial writer, Andy Caldwell, has been attacking environmentalists, conservation efforts, renewable energy and climate science nearly every week, sometimes on a daily basis.

  • ·         He attacked the pope, claiming poverty is a personal choice. 1
  • ·         He published a Christmas editorial arguing that efforts to save the planet cause world wars, ethnic cleansing & the holocaust. 2
  • ·         He attacked a faith organization for their concern about climate change.3
  • ·         He attacked politicians for setting limits on pollution from oil development.4
  • ·         He linked environmentalism with Nazi eugenics and theories that, “justify allowing millions of people to starve to death.” 5
  • ·         Editorial after editorial claims that “the climate has not yet changed” and that “warming that is no longer observable.”6
  • ·         He claims climate change educators are “your enemy”7 who want you to live “without windows”8 and “toasters.”7

Our analysis of a three month period found that 85% of opinion pieces in the News Press regarding the oil and fossil fuel industry were in favor and 80% regarding the renewable energy industry were negative.

It is one thing to have a regular pro-oil contributor or publish misinformation about climate change. It is yet another thing to have anti-environmentalism be your primary editorial cause. Caldwell has attacked nearly every environmental organization in town.

If you, like most Santa Barbarans, take pride in our environmental stewardship, please keep this hostile editorial stance in mind the next time you consider reading, advertising in or distributing the Santa Barbara News Press.

1 “Pontificating on poverty in a vaccum of values” 2/2/14; 2 “What child is this?” 12/25/13; 3 “Today is all they have” 10/20/13; 4 “How to run a royal railroad” 12/27/13;  5 “The evil sire of the environmental movement” & “The origin of environmentalism: Not what you think”; 6 “95% certain or hilariously incoherent?” 10/9/13; 7 “Coal banned from Christmas stockings” 12/22/13; 8 Environmental pretenders holed up in hypocrisy 12/29/13