SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Petition organizers, Santa Barbara County Water Guardians, say the goal is to block all future fracking, cyclic steaming and other "high intensity" oil and gas production in Santa Barbara County going forward.
Any current operations would be grandfathered in and not affected by any future ban.
"Its not environmentally sound", says volunteer petition circulator Frank Iarossi, "if something goes wrong its quite often catastrophic, so there might be several places where nothing has gone wrong but where it goes wrong it can be quite catastrophic, so I'm not sure why we need to do that here in Santa Barbara County."
A spokesperson for the local energy industry says the petition proponents are hiding their true intentions which are to shut down all domestic oil production, including fracking, water and steam, in Santa Barbara County which has been in use for decades.
Industry argues the result of any so-called fracking ban will be greater reliance on overseas imports, and ultimately higher prices over a sharp reduction in domestic production.
Santa Barbara Water Guardians need at least 13,200 signatures of registered Santa Barbara County voters by this Summer to qualify the proposed measure for either a County Board of Supervisors ordinance or for the November ballot.