Santa Monica, California. Just hearing the name of the city brings a sense of excitement, tranquility, and entertainment. Santa Monica is one of Los Angeles County’s hot spots throughout the year, especially during the hot summer days. One of the most inviting parts of Santa Monica is its environment. “Sustainable Santa Monica uses the power of community to enhance our resources, prevent harm to the natural environment and human health, and benefit the social and economic well-being of the community for the sake of current and future generations,” reports the City of Santa Monica’s webpage. The second Sustainable City Plan Guiding Principles is placing protection, restoration, and preservation of the environment as the highest priority. Moreover, the city of Santa Monica says that they are committed to procurement decisions that will minimize negative environmental and social impacts. Santa Monica is also committed to sustainable rights for its residents, natural communities and ecosystems. With that being said, it is only ethically right for Santa Monica to take a stake in helping repay the breach in contract between Hermosa Beach and E&B Oil.
Briefly, the city of Hermosa Beach shut down E&B Natural Resources in the municipal elections that took place on March 3, 2015. E&B had proposed to come into Hermosa Beach and drill oil for 34years and take on the responsibility to repay the $17,000 owed to McPherson for the breach in contract years ago. The consequences of oil drilling would include toxic waste and chemicals being released into the environment, constant noise, light and noxious odor emissions from the oil drilling, and significant health and environmental risks. The results of the official environmental impact reports identified nine significant unavoidable impacts including increased air pollution, linked to increased heart attacks, asthma and cancer, which will impact seniors and children the most. Although the emissions would be far less reached in Santa Monica there would be a build up of the toxins that would eventually be extremely harmful for the residents in Santa Monica and the tourist.
Like Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica has made it clear that they oppose oil drilling. Hermosa Beach has helpedSanta Monica keep their immediate environment safe for several years to come. E&B Natural Resources has a history in oil spills and if Hermosa Beach were to have passed Measure O, there would have been that potential oil spill all throughout the Pacific Ocean. Just imagine that, an oil spill in the Santa Monica Bay. That would have plummeted the revenue Santa Monica receives from the constant tourist visiting the beach and pier. The noxious odors and emissions released into the air would have also decreased the traffic in the mall and 3rd Street Promenade. Inevitably, Santa Monica should feel the responsibility to take a stake in helping repay the remaining value owed by Hermosa Beach to E&B Natural Resources. What once the major engine for Los Angeles’s growth, is now very detrimental to the environment.
Santa Monica says that they are committed to preventing negative environmental and social impacts as well as creating sustainability for its residents, natural communities and ecosystems and this is just what Hermosa Beach did. Furthermore, if Santa Monica takes a stake in Hermosa Beach then they are showing, not only E&B Natural Resources, but also all oil companies that they will not stand for drilling in their community. The point of all this is to show support to neighboring cities, avoid any future environmental disaster, and show Hermosa Beach their appreciation to saving the environment.
Carla Nunez is a student at the University of Southern California who works in Santa Monica.