As Hermosa Beach officials have reached a settlement in the lawsuit brought against the city by Macpherson Oil Co., a debate over oil drilling has resurfaced.
As part of the settlement, , Hermosa voters possibly will decide whether to approve oil drilling in city limits or continue a ban on the practice. Municipal code currently deems oil drilling "unlawful."
"The residents get the choice," said City Councilman Michael DiVirgilio last week about .
Marking an end to its lawsuit, Macpherson Oil Co. agreed to assign its lease and permits for an oil project in Hermosa Beach to E & B Natural Resources Management Corp.
The city first plans to conduct an extensive environmental review of the proposed oil-drilling project at E & B's expense. If the project is determined safe then an oil-drilling measure will be up for a vote, according to city officials.
If voters decide to allow oil drilling, royalties from oil produced would be given to the city and Hermosa Beach City School District, according to officials, and the city would owe only $3.5 million to E & B. If voters decide to oppose oil drilling, the city would owe $17.5 million to E & B (see accompanying fact sheet under photo.)