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  • The Rural/Urban Energy Divide

    Last week the Santa Barbara city council voted 5 – 1 to affirm its opposition to offshore oil drilling. The measure was passed to counter an August 26th Santa Barbara county supervisor’s vote in favor offshore oil drilling. While both votes were completely symbolic, they do point to a clear fault line in the energy debate.

    As blue as the entire state of California is, many of its counties, like Santa Barbara, actually reflect the voting patterns of the nation as a whole. The city of Santa Barbara is urban, wealthy, and is represented in Congress by Rep. Louis Capps (D). The inland county of Santa Barbara is rural, hosts many farmers, ranchers, and factories, and is represented by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R). When it comes to issues like energy and the environment the wealthy urbanites just have different priorities than the working class rural voters.

    The USA Today reported earlier this year high energy prices are a double-whammy for many rural residents: “They often pay more than people who live in cities and suburbs because of the expense of hauling fuel to their communities, and they must drive greater distances for life’s necessities: work, groceries, medical care and, of course, gas.” More from the USA Today: “A May survey by the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a fuel analysis company, and Wright Express, a company that collects data on credit card transactions, found that people in rural areas spend as much as 16.02% of their monthly family income on gas, while people in urban areas of New York and New Jersey spend as little as 2.05%.”

    Liberals in Congress increasingly represent the wealthiest voters in the nation. These wealthy voters just have different values and priorities than the average American. Rising energy costs simply do not hurt wealthy urban Americans the way they hurt the rest of the country. As a result, working class Americans are simply more willing to drill in parts of the ocean and Alaska they will never see than wealthy urban Americans are.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to The Rural/Urban Energy Divide

    1. Pingback: The Rural/Urban Energy Divide : thegameoflove

    2. Thomas Gray, South C says:

      How sad that people care so little about their fellow citizens as to willfuly vote them into unaffordable energy and poverty,,,reminds me of ,,the needle and the camel.

      ,,, tom,,,

    3. peter sterling, cali says:

      There are vast undeveloped reserves of oil off California's coast. Visitors to Santa Barbara beaches must watch out for the clumps of oil/tar that wash up on the beach. It's constantly seeping from natural reservoirs under the ocean floor and polluting the beaches and the very air we breathe!

      Its not pristine beaches “environmentalists” and Santa Barbara County and State officials are protecting, its only OPEC, Russia’s and big oil’s profits. Santa Barbara “environmental” groups are actually spoiling the air and destroying the local and State economies.

      Despite the obvious benefits that oil production would have in reducing price at the pump, lowering environmental pressure on oil reservoirs and hence reducing damaging seeps, the California Assembly, Environment California, Sierra Club California, and the Natural Resources Defense Council continue their illogical, economically catastrophic and environmentally unsound opposition to safe oil and gas production.

      County, State and federal officials and eco-lawyers are inadvertently, agents for OPEC-Russia-Chavez and our economic competitors, China, India etc. The OPEC-Russia-Chavez oil cartel is not just looting the United States, but the whole world, and will accumulate over $1.5 trillion in net profits this year. At their current rate of take, OPEC-Russia will acquire enough cash to buy majority control of every leading company in the United States within five years.

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