The voters of Hermosa Beach sent an early signal of their opposition to oil drilling in their bucolic little beach town by giving the boot to incumbent “Mayor of EgoTown” Kit Bobko while reelecting environmentalist Jeff Duclos and avowed anti-oil candidate Nanette Barragan along with fence-sitting Carolyn Petty to the Hermosa Beach City Council. Bobko’s ploy of pretending to be an environmentalist by taking credit for the work of others, despite his record of supporting climate change deniers and carbon producers proved to be as ineffectual and futile as his term as ceremonial mayor has been.
Now it’s time for Hermosa Beach and the rest of the South Bay to focus on giving E&B Oil the boot and sequestering that carbon under our land and our sea in the ground where it belongs. It seems beyond obvious to say that you cannot be a carbon neutral city if you’re going to have 30 oil and gas wells sucking up millions of barrels of carbon to be burned and added to our carbon budget of 565 gigatons before we go past the point of no return in 15 years. That’s your carbon contribution Hermosa Beach. You own that part of the budget and there is nothing your city can do to neutralize it.
But you have the power to cut that carbon from the budget Hermosa, just like they’ve done in Colorado where voters in communities across the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountain state voted Tuesday to halt fracking in their backyards. They kicked the ass of the oil and gas industry despite being outspent by the carbon burning industry by a 30–1 margin.
Two cities, Boulder and Fort Collins, passed 5-year moratoriums while another, Lafayette, adopted an outright ban on fracking. As of early today, the vote on a third moratorium in Broomfield was too close to call. The votes in these four communities follow similar efforts last year in Longmont, which passed a ban on fracking as well as tough new regulations on drilling.
Our Colorado friends have provided the blueprint for our plans to rid the South Bay of the fossil fuel burning Redondo Beach Power Plant and the proposed oil drilling operations in Hermosa Beach. No matter how much money the carbon burners who are destroying our climate spend to defeat us they cannot win if we do our jobs.
Like our friends in Whitter right here in L.A. County did. The Whittier Hills Oil Watch group delivered a unanimous vote from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors a week ago to oppose a plan to drill for oil in publicly owned parkland in the Whittier hills. The Sups said the proposal would undermine open space protection throughout the county. I wonder how they feel about the open space that is the beach and Pacific Ocean when it comes to new oil drilling.
“Oil and open space don’t mix,” Supervisor Gloria Molina said after the vote, noting that the land was purchased with taxpayer money earmarked for conservation efforts. “We’ve purchased hundreds of acres of land across Los Angeles County using millions of Prop. A dollars. To allow oil drilling on land in Whittier acquired with Prop. A monies would set a dangerous precedent. We cannot allow it.”
Supervisor Don Knabe and his staff have always been friends of South Bay 350 Climate Action Group and supported our past efforts. We’re looking forward to working with them – and our enlightened local leaders – to deliver more good news about divesting our public investments in the fossil fuel industry – especially the physical assets of that industry that use our communities air, water and land to pump the no longer acceptable toxic waste their products produce.