The editorial "Truce on Offshore Oil" (Aug. 12) should have been entitled "Arrogant Contempt for Public." Can The Times stand there and tell us we should be happy about the rottenness of our leaders and the hopeless caviling of our representatives?
I would like to see how far the oil companies would get if they proposed offshore drilling on the French Riviera. They would have to flee for their lives. Well, this is our Riviera, and it is the jewel in the crown of California. If one oil well is drilled it's the same as 100. There is no difference. It's like being a little bit pregnant.
We have Mayor Bradley to thank for this. His rollover to Occidental Oil opened the door to the rest who are now running in like rats to savage the coastline. If our mayor doesn't care what happens to our beautiful beaches, then who? We should not permit this outrage. We should protest, write, pass a referendum, whatever it takes to stop this onslaught.
If I counted correctly, we can look forward to seeing 22 oil rigs between here and Catalina Island. On a clear day we won't see Catalina. We will see a jungle of oil rigs. Why does the editorial condone the rape of the coast of Southern California? We are told to be relieved that the situation is not worse. We are even asked to be pleased. If The Times does not take leadership in this battle, it will certainly bear part of the blame when the time comes that it must write editorials lamenting the loss of our beautiful beaches, our fresh air from the shore, our clean ocean. The only place in Los Angeles where, for no money, thousands of people can come to relax and get away from the city and the heat. Does anyone want to look out at the Pacific Ocean and see oil rigs instead of sailboats, tankers instead of fishing barges?
Let's not forget that beyond the loss of beauty and pleasure lies the reality of spills, fires, toxic dumps, earthquake faults and all the rest we have come to know so well. What are the people of Los Angeles waiting for? This is happening because the President of the United States, the governor of California and the mayor of Los Angeles (the man who kept the oil companies at bay for years) are caving in to the demands of the oil companies. Because the oil companies want it, they are giving away our precious beaches forever. It's not too late, the beaches are free, they are beautiful and they belong to us.