Another cautionary tale in today’s L.A. Times for Hermosa Beach. Seems like there’s one every day, doesn’t there?
Front page of today’s Sunday Times. The article tells how the once quaint and funky character of Avila Beach on our Central Coast was literally destroyed by the same oil industry that claims to care about your family’s safety, the public good and our communities’ well being. Of course that claim is the biggest crock of shit since Nixon claimed he wasn’t a crook.
Besides cooking our climate with greenhouse gases, polluting the daily air we breathe to the point of causing lung cancer, asthma and emphysema, the gang at Union Oil – now owned by the gang at Chevron, along with their pals at Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, E&B and the other members of their cabal at the American Petroleum Institute are more than delighted to pony up to have your town leveled to the ground and then build a swaggy new upscale resort on the land they fucked over. And if you think that’s strong language you’re right – and that’s exactly the frank and direct way we ALL need to be talking about this reckless and rouge industry who will be only too happy to do the very same thing to Hermosa Beach. Being polite and weak about this at our current point in the timeline is simply suicidal.
Here’s what the Times reported on Avila Beach’s fate:
“We kind of miss the old town,” said Mike Cullen, 65, who lived and owned businesses here for more than three decades, and now visits from his home in Oahu with his dog, Buddy Blue VI. “The whole thing just got erased.”
It was a terrible slog. Bulldozers removed about 300,000 cubic yards of earth, sometimes digging 15 feet deep in the heart of town to excise the last of the pollutants. Commerce ground to a halt. Many residents were displaced; some were given a check for their pain and inconvenience and never came back.
Ask E&B oil if they can guarantee there won’t be an oil spill in Hermosa Beach, or an oil well blowout, or an equipment failure that causes oil to ooze where it shouldn’t. Ask E&B if they can guarantee that their operation won’t cause more cancer and other diseases then would have been in Hermosa without them. Ask them if they can guarantee that burning that oil won’t send us over the climate tipping point. They cannot make those guarantees. Neither can any of their supporters. They can only do their phony dance about how advanced technology and super safe practices are state of the art. Tell it to every town and city that found out too late what bullshit that really is.
But South Bay 350 and Stop Hermosa Oil can guarantee you that none of those negative impacts will ever hit Hermosa Beach and our surrounding South Bay community from that oil and the CO2 it releases when it stays safely sequestered right where it belongs – under the ground and sea where it sits today. If E&B wants to take ownership of something, let them take ownership for all the damage their company has already done to us by their operations over the last 40 years – the worst 40 years our climate has ever experienced.
That $17.5 million in kiss off money to give E&B the boot is chump change compared to what it will take to erase and rebuild Hermosa Beach and the impacted towns of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and whoever else gets oiled up by “accident.”
But it won’t really be an accident if it happens here. Not when we can see it coming and avoid it ahead of time. Not when E&B tells you in their own vision statement about their commitment to “Aggressive optimization and development of existing and acquired assets,” and their “Active and opportunistic acquisition of producing properties…” That aggressive attitude and opportunistic nature are the hallmarks of an accident waiting to happen.
You can say a lot of things about what’s going to happen. But what you can’t honestly say is you didn’t see it coming.