Santa Maria, Calif. -

The Santa Barbara Planning Commission has approved a project to take reclaimed water from west Santa Maria and drill oil behind Orcutt hills.

Santa Maria Energy plans to build a pipeline from the Laguna County Sanitation District reclamation facility to transport the water. 

Once it travels the 8 mile pipeline and arrives behind Orcutt hills, the water will be turned into steam to soften the oil in the ground and push out over 3,000 barrels of oil a day.

There will be 110 new oil wells, which Santa Maria Energy says will be much smaller than the typical “grasshopper” ones were used to seeing.

They say the project is environmental because helps a salamander conservatory and builds oak trees too.  Also, did they mention the water is reclaimed?

"We're not taking any water away from agriculture or diverting it for any other uses, we won't be using fresh water,” said Bob Poole with Santa Maria Energy.

And there are also economic benefits--they say the project will produce between 50 to 75 high paying jobs.

Also UCSB research says each barrel of oil will generate $142 towards our local economy--that's a half a million dollars a day.

The project was approved on Wednesday, and if there isn't further opposition from the public by next week, the company says construction will begin in one or two years.