Foreign Oil?

A mailer, paid for by Aera Energy (owned by Shell and ExxonMobil) and Chevron, claims that "Measures A & B would force California to import more foreign oil".
Foreign Oil.png
This is a logical fallacy known as a slippery slope argument.
Measures A and B are amendments to Ventura County's coastal and non-coastal zoning ordinances that will apply the same environmental review to antiquated permits that is applied to all other oil and gas permits that were granted after 1970. As previously discussed in Honesty Counts #2,  there are 80 out of a total 145 conditional use permits (CUPs) granted by the County of Ventura governing oil and gas production. Aera Energy owns most of those eighty that operate under older, more lax rules. Measures A and B will close this loophole for all new facilities, ensuring that related environmental impacts will be analyzed and mitigated for.
The problem with "slippery slope" reasoning is that it doesn't engage with the issue at hand, the fact that there has been a long-standing loophole in county law. Instead, it shifts attention to an extreme hypothetical of the state importing more foreign oil. No proof has been provided by Shell, ExxonMobil or Chevron to show that such a hypothetical will in fact occur as a result of the same rules applying to all new oil and gas production in the county, so this fallacy has the form of an appeal to emotion fallacy by leveraging fear.
Abe says, "Fun fact: California imports more foreign oil because West Coast refineries can turn around and export the refined products."


  • Aera Energy
  • Measures A & B
  • Shell
  • ExxonMobil
  • Fallacy