Group supports oil drilling
Martha Logan has lived in Hermosa Beach for 40 years and is one of the founding members of Protect Hermosa’s Future, a group that supports the oil drilling project proposed by E&B Natural Resources, a Bakerfield-based oil and gas company.
E&B and the city reached a settlement two years ago that ended a 17-year legal struggle over a drilling project originally proposed in 1995 that was stymied when a grassroots initiative reinstated a ban on oil drilling. The settlement entitled E&B to take its proposed drilling project to a citywide vote.
If the controversial plan to lift the city’s ban is approved by voters, the city could receive up to $270 million over the projects’s 35-year span and schools would receive up to $2.2 million, according to a cost-benefit analysis prepared for the city. But opponents say such benefits are not worth the possible environmental risks, including potential spills, pollution and increased traffic in the residential areas surrounding the site, the city’s maintanence yard on Sixth Street and Valley Drive.
Logan sat down with Easy Reader to discuss the issue.
Q: What would you say to those who take the stance that supporting the project is really just about money?
A: Well, it is about money. I can’t say it’s not all about the money. When you think about any business coming into a town, what is it about? It’s what the money can provide to the city.
Q: Do the potential risks of the proposed oil drilling project weigh on you at all?
A: I can’t say they don’t weigh on me at all. I don’t think there’s a risk here that’s any more significant than some of the other things we do in day-to-day life. The more you learn about it, for me anyway, that fear level goes down. The odor issue: Do I think it will be something more frightening and catastrophic than what you’d smell if someone spilled some gasoline at a gas station? I really don’t. Obviously during construction it (the noise) will be annoying. Once the project is up and running, people are going to drive by that and unless they’re really tuned in, they’re not gonna know what it is.
Q: What’s your take on the timing of the oil election being in November versus June 2015?
A: The bottom line there is in the settlement agreement, (the date of the election) is E&B’s decision to make. We all know about settlement agreements and we all know about lawsuits; it’s how we got here in the first place. I just don’t want more broken contracts. This is my third time going to the polls to vote on oil. I hope it’s my last.
Q: What is your favorite thing about living in Hermosa Beach?
A: It’s my home. I came out here when I was in my early 20s. It’s just my home. Every now and then I have a dream that I moved and I wake up like almost hyperventilating and in a sweat.
Q: What would you like to see done with the revenue that the city could get from this project?
A: Well, my passion of course is the schools and the art program. It just breaks my heart that those kids don’t get art or music. I want to see the sewers replaced. It might be fun to … see them do something oriented towards the pier, to put something on the end of the pier.