Guest View: Supervisors Botelho, Rivas reaffirm support for Measure J

Robert Rivas represents District 3.

We are writing to set the record straight. Supervisor Margie Barrios said at the last San Juan Bautista City Council meeting (Oct 21, 2014) when that council endorsed Measure J, that some of her fellow supervisors are “now rethinking their decisions after all the information that has come out” — suggesting that we’re distancing themselves from support of Measure J. This could not be further from the truth.
We carefully researched the issues before endorsing Measure J. We both have deep roots in the county. Robert grew up in Paicines amongst the vineyards. Anthony is a fourth-generation apple farmer and former president of the farm bureau. As supervisors, we think our highest priority is to protect our county’s water, health and economic future.
That is why we strongly support Measure J and urge you to stand together as a community to pass this important initiative.  
As you know, millions of dollars in misleading advertisements have been paid for by oil companies to confuse local voters. In a recent television advertisement, the No on J side attempted to link Measure J to the trouble in the Middle East! We have been shocked to see how far the oil companies will go to protect their profits.
As supervisors, our only interest is in protecting San Benito County.  
After strengthening San Benito County’s Oil and Gas Ordinance in June 2013 we realized that oil and gas operations are difficult to regulate and difficult to enforce. We were deeply disturbed when we saw the reality on the ground when Citadel Exploration reinjected waste water in their project near the Pinnacles in violation of their permit.  
It is clear that neither the county nor the State Department of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources has the ability to adequately protect our county from these risky operations. It is far better to keep dangerous methods like fracking, cyclic stem injection and matrix acidizing out of this county, instead of risking our future.
Many of our constituents have asked us where we stand on Measure J. We wish to make it clear that we are both strong supporters of Measure J and urge our constituents to Vote Yes on J.
Robert Rivas and Anthony Botelho are San Benito County supervisors.

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