Rail spur opponents take aim at Peschong
September 27, 2016
Ahead of a San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission vote on the proposed Nipomo rail spur, opponents of the oil train project are attempting to seize on the fact that District 1 supervisorial candidate John Peschong has a business relationship with energy company Phillips 66.
Peschong has already disclosed multiple times that his political consulting firm Meridian Pacific received money from the oil company. Several months ago, Peschong stated publicly that, if elected, he would recuse himself from a vote on the project.
Additionally, California conflict of interest regulations would preclude Peschong from voting on the proposed rail spur.
Nonetheless, on Saturday, the Los Angeles Times published a commentary opposing the rail spur project, which stated Meridian Pacific received $262,000 from Phillips 66 in 2015. The LA Times published the information about Meridian Pacific after receiving a tip from local environmental activists and before giving Peschong a chance to respond.
The article described the District 1 seat as the “wild card” in an upcoming board of supervisors vote on the rail spur project. The LA Tines did not state in the article that Peschong has said he would not be voting on the matter or that both candidates for office have said previously that they support the rail spur project.
Nevertleless, Peschong’s opponent in the District 1 race, Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin, is now considering a change in position. In the District 1 primary race, Peschong received 45.52 percent of the vote and Martin garnered 35.02 percent.
The county planning commission may vote on the rail spur project at its Oct. 5 meeting. Following the planning commission vote, the project is expected to be appealed to the board of supervisors.