If you’re a longtime Heal the Bay supporter, you may remember a proposal to drill for oil in the City of Hermosa Beach back in the late 1990s. We worked closely with partner groups to defeat that effort.
A recent legal settlement has put oil drilling back on the table for Hermosa residents. A ballot measure to reconsider the current moratorium on oil drilling is being put to a vote of Hermosa Beach residents in 2014. Simultaneously, energy company E&B Natural Resources is proposing a slant drilling operation that would send machinery directly into the Bay to extract oil.
Heal the Bay has joined with partners in the South Bay including Stop Hermosa Beach Oil, Keep Hermosa Hermosa, and the Surfrider Foundation in a grassroots effort to uphold the current moratorium. Allowing oil drilling in Hermosa will impact all the communities of the South Bay. Any drilling poses significant risk to the entire Bay if an accident occurs.
This issue is near and dear to the heart of José Bacallao, Operations Manager at our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, who is also a Hermosa Beach resident. He’s encouraged by the community’s engagement thus far.
“For almost 30 years, Heal the Bay, our members and our partners have worked hard to revitalize and heal Santa Monica Bay. The oil drilling proposal in Hermosa Beach threatens all that,” Bacallao says. “It’s just too big of a risk.”
Our policy team will be monitoring developments closely and will be mobilizing community support in the coming year to influence decision-makers.