In his Opinion piece concerning oil drilling in Pacific Palisades (Aug. 9), William R. Robertson demonstrated his lack of understanding of the unique place which our public beaches hold in the hearts of Los Angeles residents.
Perhaps it is his unswerving concern for the creation of jobs which prompts Robertson, the executive secretary of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, to advocate so emphatically the development of oil alongside Will Rogers State Beach, a recreational site visited and enjoyed by millions of Southern Californians each year.
If it is, he should remember that it was not just jobs which brought people to California in the first place. For millions of us it was also the promise of different surroundings--the variety of geography, the open spaces and the proximity of available seashore for us to use and enjoy. Jobs are indeed essential to our city's economic health and growth. But if in developing them we sacrifice the uniqueness that naturally attracts people--and industry--to Los Angeles, we will both defeat our purpose and despoil our environment.
Robertson has sided with those who would exploit even the most sensitive of our region's resources at the expense of our quality of life. By placing oil first, he has trivialized the importance of Proposition 20, the Coastal Act adopted by a huge margin of California voters for the protection of our irreplaceable coast. By his willingness to subject our beaches to the risks of landslides and pipeline ruptures, and our citizens to the responsibility for paying for them, he has turned his back on the necessity of protecting high-quality recreational opportunities for all the people of Los Angeles.
Tax revenues for the city and relatively small quantities of oil for the nation are important; however, we must not sacrifice the integrity, and risk the safety of our precious recreational resources to get them.
11th District Councilman
5th District Councilman