Exxon Mobil proposal sparks rally before hearing in Santa Barbara County

Exxon Mobil platform and trucking proposal leads to protests before hearing in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Exxon Mobil's proposal to restart 3 platforms off the Gaviota Coast and truck the oil to Santa Maria and Bakersfield doesn't sit well with environmental groups on the central coast.

About 50 people rallied outside the hearing on Wednesday evening to discuss concerns before an environmental review.

Oil companies haven't been able to operate platforms since the rupture of the Plains All American pipeline in 2015.

Environmental Defense Center's Chief Counsel said they are concerned about the hazards of trucking and restarting the dormant platforms.

 Linda Krop said they are concerned about air pollution, climate change, and spills offshore.

"We just had a tanker truck spill in December on a wide stretch of the 101," said Krop.

She said the trucks would go through a curvy pass known for windy conditions.

Jing Wan, an Exxon Mobil Asset Manager said they have been doing business without incident in the county since 1976.

"We remain steadfast in our commitment to safety, security, and health," said Wan.

The hearing was held to inform County staff members of the issues people care about before the environmental review.

A decision won't be made right away.

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