Oil Drilling in the Palisades

In her letter, Jean Rosenfeld characterized my earlier remarks about Occidental Petroleum's Pacific Palisades project as both "divisive" and "irrelevant" to the issue. I submit that she has failed utterly to make her case.

Rosenfeld writes that the project will affect adversely thousands of commuters, when the truth is that great pains have been taken to ensure the opposite result. For instance, access to the site will not even be permitted during peak commuter traffic hours.

Rosenfeld then makes the assertion that everyone who uses the popular beach across PCH from the site would be offended by its industrial use. She doesn't bother to say why. Nor does she mention that architectural treatment of the on-site equipment--enclosed within a Spanish mission-style structure--will make it virtually impossible to identify the use to which the site is being put.

Rosenfeld's simple dislike for the project then leads her to the astonishing and wholly unsupported conclusion that it constitutes "an assault on the environment." She fails to mention that exhaustive environmental studies show otherwise.

The folks from the Palisades and No Oil Inc. have never expressed their concerns about the environmental safety of producing oil in Watts or in Venice (where wells actually are on the beach) or in the 15 other drilling districts which are scattered throughout the city.

But nowhere is Rosenfeld more profoundly wrong than in her conclusion that permitting Occidental to drill would be setting precedent. In fact, it would set precedent not to permit the drilling. Oil has been drilled in the City of Los Angeles for nearly 100 years.

I would like Rosenfeld to know that I am proud to serve as a member of the Los Angeles Public and Coastal Protection Committee.


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