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Poll: What's Your Take on Oil Drilling in Hermosa?

In wake of the Macpherson Oil Co. settlement, weigh in on oil drilling now in our Patch poll.

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.

  • Earlier:

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.)

Lynn Carter March 09, 2012 at 04:17 PM
No oil drilling in H.B. It is a no brainer....was no one watching the recent oil spill off the coast of Alabama? Are we not supposed to be "the most green city" in California? How does that include oil drilling smack in the middle of the community? Do you want huge oil/tanker trucks in and out of our streets all day? Do you want our beaches full of tar and dead fish, birds? Why would anyone spend 1 minute thinking about it??? NO OIL DRILLING IN H.B.
Peter Barsuk March 09, 2012 at 05:42 PM
I'm against the drilling!
Kim Clark-Bailey March 09, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Do we want fires, explosions, oil spills into our beautiful beaches, increased seismic activity, a 135 foot tall oil rig on Valley Drive, and hydrogen sulfide poisoning (an acutely toxic gas) in Hermosa Beach? According to the California Coastal Commission Report, these are the issues that they identified with a proposed drilling site on 6th Street. The safety and health of our citizens can’t be risked. We are against drilling for oil. Please vote NO!
Jeff Cohn March 10, 2012 at 04:45 AM
I walked around 6th street yard (ground zero) today and asked 10 random people if they were aware of the new agreement that the city passed. Zero people were aware that the city entered into such agreement or had the ability to discuss it publicly. This is a clear violation of the Brown Act. Bobko & Divirgilo seem to be taking all of the credit for this "great deal". Did they ask the 6th st neighbors? No Did they hold a public forum in the last 10 years on the topic? No Do either Divirgilio or Bobko own homes in Hermosa Beach? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Catch A Wave March 15, 2012 at 05:12 PM
That this ever was an issue open for debate is insane. Absolutely and completely insane. Yet another example of corporate greed and their right-wing enablers not caring about the health and well being of the average citizen. Hermosa Beach City Councilman Kit Bobko is a supporter of Tea Party wacko Nathan Mintz. That is all you need to know.
Matt Schaub March 15, 2012 at 05:30 PM
The outcome of this poll is flawed due to the fact one individual or IP address can vote multiple times inflating the results and mispresentating the true outcome. Based on the comments listed I personally feel the pro oil votes were from a few folks. I'm curious to see how these pro-oil residents would vote if the proposed oil tower was 50-100 yards away from their homes.
Catch A Wave March 15, 2012 at 11:58 PM
A Sophie's choice of paying $17.5 million or $3.5 million PLUS be subjected to oil drilling in Hermosa. Leave it to the right-wing corporate whores Kit Bobko and Michael DiVirgilio to sell the city down the river.
H. Schwartz March 16, 2012 at 03:55 AM
We need to drill! Do not listen to the propaganda, there will be no oil soaked birds, fires or explosions, no oil towers either. We are not talking about off shore platforms as was the case in the gulf, this is called slant drilling right from our city yard! A crane-drilling rig will be erected to drill the well, once it is drilled then a derrick is installed, we've all seen them they have big weights on them and work on perpetual motion. I'll bet a lot of people do not even realize that there was an oil derrick in the city yard through the 80's. There also was one at the corner of 6th and Cypress at the same time! No one even realized it, just money makers sitting there. So lets be honest, Hermosa needs the money, we have three fire captains making over $ 200,000 each and wait till we have to pay their retirement! I,m glad 17.5 million dollars is a number some of us" can live with" but most of us can't So lets all think it through and vote to drill, our schools and our kids are counting on us.
Jeff Cohn March 16, 2012 at 05:21 AM
So you are saying extortion is the only reason not to drill? I have voted 6 times on this poll. Not valid.
Catch A Wave March 16, 2012 at 06:35 AM
Right Schwartz - because there never has been an accident on an oil project, there never has been an oil soaked bird, there never has been a fire, there never has been an explosion. No person with even a modicum of intellect would ever believe a pipeline or oil derrick will withstand a 6 plus earthquake in Redondo Canyon. And no person with even a modicum of intellect would believe this is safe. So pardon me if I just dismiss your contrived nonsense.
H. Schwartz March 16, 2012 at 03:01 PM
All I'm asking is that you make your decisions regarding this matter based on the facts and not on emotion. I understand the argument for not drilling but the facts are the facts. There have been no oil soaked birds, flaming oil rigs, or explosions from all the previous drilling in the area [Redondo Beach pumped oil for years]. Could something ever happen? of course but look at the odds, its all about risk management, when you do a cost benefit analysis on this it becomes very clear,this is a safe clean way for the city to get some badly needed revenue.
Jeff Cohn March 16, 2012 at 03:11 PM
When public officials negotiate "shady deals" in a backroom and DO NOT public hearings, this is what happens. Do you think HB elected officials understood ALL OF THE FACTS negotiating this deal? I think they should rescind the deal and take it back to trial which is schedule for April. We WILL WIN and OWE nothing.
Catch A Wave March 17, 2012 at 07:46 PM
You are right on the money Mr. Cohn This was a Kit Bobko and Michael DiVirgilio back room deal to enable and support corporate greed at the expense of the health and well being of the local citizens of Hermosa Beach.
Catch A Wave March 17, 2012 at 07:50 PM
That is the most illogical post imaginable. What on earth does previous drilling in this area have to do with future drilling in this area. You can run across the 405 ten times safely; do you not think it's likely that at some point in the future you will get hit? From the early 1970s through the '90s, offshore rigs and pipelines averaged about four spills per year of at least 50 barrels, according to the Minerals Management Service (MMS). One barrel is equal to 42 gallons. The average annual total surged to more than 17 from 2000 through 2009. From 2005 through 2009, spills averaged 22 a year. Now how about YOU make your decision based on FACTS.
H. Schwartz March 20, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Thank you "Catch a wave" for your reply to my post,I appreciate the dialog and would like to clarify .You say "What on earth does previous drilling in this area have to do with future drilling in this area" Technological advancements have greatly improved the safety and efficiency of slant drilling since even the 80's when this project was first voted in,making future drilling less risky. Your "walking on the 405"comparison doesn't work,a better analogy would be driving the 405 or air travel,there is always risk but a major incident is not inevitable as you suggest. I applaud your Minerals Management Services statistics you took the time to research,however they really don't apply here.The statistics specifically reference "offshore rigs and pipelines".offshore rigs [drilling from a platform on the ocean] are far more risky than slant drilling from the city yard, pipeline failure statistics are also not applicable as these stats would include large lengthy trans-Alaska type pipelines which are more susceptible to failure than the much smaller diameter "drill lines" as they're called which run only from the oil source to the pump. Hope this brings a little clarity !
Jeff Cohn March 20, 2012 at 09:22 PM
"H. Schwartz" since you are the only positive spinning person here. How do you spin the awful odor smell that all neighbors will experience in the area?
Matt Schaub March 20, 2012 at 09:56 PM
The readers would also like to understand why you feel our schools would receive money from the proposed oil production?
H. Schwartz March 21, 2012 at 05:07 PM
"Jeff Cohn,Matt Schaub" Thank the both of you for taking the time to respond and more importantly - ask questions. . Mr. Cohn, you use the pejorative "spin" in your your question, there was no bias or slant in my post,I strive for clarity. As far as "the awful oder smell" you mention, I can only speak from first hand experience . My business property is adjacent to the city yard and very close to 6th and Cypress, the two locations of the original Stinnett wells. I never heard or smelled anything in the five plus years I was here during their activity. I was not here when they were drilled, so I can't speak for that, but I was here when they were capped and smelled nothing although there was some minor noise then during business hours. " Matt Schaub" your question regarding our schools is a bit easier, I don't know which "readers" you speak for but for all who don't already know it's actually not a "feeling" that I have, I read it on page two, paragraph three of the "Macpherson oil FACT sheet" that's posted on the city's web site. It reads "the city and the Hermosa Beach City School District would benefit financially if the project produces oil.The city would collect a royalty from gross sales of oil produced, and the schools would receive a royalty for oil produced from the land they own, a portion of the additional property tax paid by the oil production company and 20 cents per barrel of oil produced by the project." lets do it for the children!
Marilyn Manhuph March 21, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Just read all the comments above, regarding the M Oil issue..... hmmmm...... kinda wondering regarding the motivation of some of these comment authors..... are you trying to persuade people to agree with your version of the "truth"? Do you think using words like "whore" and "wacko", making emotional statements, labeling other bloggers comments as nonsense or lacking intellect AND drawing comparisons between irrelevant disasters (oil platforms with land based drilling) and what is proposed in Hermosa will attract anyone to your point of view? Attract, forget it: YOU'RE SCARING me away! And then all the comments that appear so "informed".......I particularly love the "readers" that haven't read, "intellectuals" with the illogical arguements and don't forget the comments that are not based in the facts............truely me helping confirm my opinion..... thank you!
Jeff Cohn March 21, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Mr. Schwartz, what is the name of your business and your real name? This would provide a lot more credibility to your previous post if in fact you are for drilling and work near it. I know from experts in this exact oil drilling business the smell will and gases will be terrible for people living near it. 20 cents a barrel amounts to maybe $20,000 to $90,000 per year at best and might hire one person. Plus its 6 to 8 years away.
Chad Hathaway March 24, 2012 at 07:02 AM
I'm just an outsider here looking in but from what I read it's approximately a 20% burden (royalty interest) of which MOC reserved a 3.3% portion leaving the city around 16% +/- of every barrel produced. In today's market of $115 oil that's about $18 a barrel net to HB. The royalty interests I listed above are more in tune with the market. Even if the field is half of what E&B believes it is say 15MBO at current pricing HB stands to pull in close to 270M over the life of the project assuming oil prices stay at current levels. I think everyone needs to watch the movie SpOILed. wew.spoiledthemovie.com Fill up on some truth.
Chad Hathaway March 24, 2012 at 07:31 AM
A 1.5% ORRI is all I could find in the official assignment to the City. Does anyone know the exact royalty interest the city will receive? Once you have that number it's simple math to get an idea (based on today's oil prices) what HB stands to gain. Where did the .20 cents on a barrel number came from that I keep hearing? Oil prices would have to be below $20 a barrel to equate to that .20 number.
H. Schwartz March 24, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Mr.Cohn,your perception,or anyone else's for that matter,of my "credibility" is not what animates me.No one should take a comment from anyone at face value,I encourage all to research the applicable facts and make clear unemotional decisions.How much oil is down there is anybody's guess,more oil=more money. Why would a "greedy oil company"expend this much effort,litigation,time and money? Think about it.
Jeff Cohn March 25, 2012 at 04:26 PM
In a properly negotiated & compromised settlement agreement, "neither party should be happy"with the outcome. In this settlement agreement Hermosa Beach tax paying residents lost while the lawyers, City Council and oil won regardless of the outcome of the vote.
Jeff Cohn May 02, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Since this poll is unclear we have started a new poll on our web site that provides a lot more clarity and only allows 1 vote per person. http://www.nobpinhb.com
Jeff Cohn May 09, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Did someone change the wording of this poll? I think readers are confused what they are voting for. Nobpinhb.com has a poll that is 82% no drilling and 17% for oil drilling. I am a bit confused who is voting and what they are voting for.
Chris Prenter May 09, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I am against the oil drilling. I have children and I definitely don't want them exposed to this heavy industrial mess 75 yards from our home. Oil drilling doesn't belong here next to our residential neighborhood and adjacent to South Park. The health and safety of this community should come first. Not to mention property values and quality of life. Having major truck traffic running up and down Valley, Cypress and Loma on a daily basis (despite what they say) plus the noise pollution and mess from all the site construction and oil pipeline down Valley Drive will be a nightmare for our neighborhood. The oil company will promise the world and tell everyone what a great benefit it is going to be for the city. They really could care less about our schools but they will dangle that carrot if it suits their purpose. I anticipate a lot of PR spinning from them over the next year. We don't want it in our city and we will fight it.
Mike collins May 09, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I am a homeowner in hermosa beach and my property overlooks the proposed drill site. I have myriad environmental concerns and am also not interested in losing the value of my home. Get informed people because this is the most important issue we will face as residents of such a small town. No drilling in hermosa beach!
Jeff Tsai May 29, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I live in Hermosa and my kids will go to Valley and play in the area. So, of course, I would vote NO. But I think we got a good deal here as long as we can all band together to vote no. From my research of this issue, Hermosa had offered to settle with Macpherson for $20mil only to be rejected. Now we have to put up a ballot measure at the expense of E&B. And if we vote no, we'll only owe $17.5 mil, much of which can be paid by selling some city-owned property? There is our answer. Just vote NO and get this mistake behind us!
Ragnar Arnesen August 23, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Dude where do you live? I'm on 7th and Ardmore. Can we put the oil drill next to your house? And please the Hermosa School District is only 2 schools with Elememtry schools, no high school, I think the revenue for the school district is a ridiculous choice to choose to drill, what about the safety of the kids? I completely disagree with you. If you are for oil drilling then you should move to Single Hill in Long Beach. VOTE NO!

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