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The Paredon paradox

By   /   Monday, March 8th, 2010  /   Comments Off on The Paredon paradox

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When the profits and politics of oil collide in a small town, it puts business owners in a sticky spot.

In June, the voters of Carpinteria, a seaside town of 14,200, will decide whether to allow Denver-based Venoco to drill an offshore oil lease from a 175-foot onshore rig concealed in a lighthouse façade. After trying to get the so-called Paredon Project through the city’s approval process for several years, Venoco gathered signatures last year to take its proposal directly to voters, offering to give a cut of profits to local governments and schools.

The move has kicked off lawsuits and contentious public hearings, along with a vote by the Carpinteria City Council to officially oppose the ballot measure. It has left the city’s business community divided as well.

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