Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and State Senator Ted Lieu support AB 2711, which would provide the city of Hermosa Beach a $17.5 million no interest loan if residents vote against E and B drilling off the coast. By voting against drilling, the city will in turn trigger a settlement to the company.
The E and B controversy demonstrates the importance not just of robust local oversight, but the growing reluctance which all of us should have regarding which contracts our city leaders engage while in office. Officials represent their constituents for a limited time, yet the city and its residents have to live with the consequences of those decisions for a life-time. These considerations should prevent such short-sighted commitments in the future.
Notwithstanding the choices of prior city councils, the residents of Hermosa Beach must choose: permit drilling or pay a settlement.
One Hermosa Beach resident shared legitimate concerns about oil spills and contamination. Twenty years after the Exxon-Valdez disaster (1989), technological safeguards have improved considerably. Despite the disastrous BP spill in the Gulf Coast (2010), commerce and tourism have returned to region. The same resident affirmed that if E and B demonstrate their capacity to provide immediate and effective safeguards, he would support their drilling.
On another note, Muratsuchi and Lieu represent all South Bay residents. They should not support spending tax dollars from residents in Redondo Beach, Redlands, or Redding to pay the settlement in one city. Sacramento lawmakers incur huge debts ignoring major reforms. They have no business making loans to anyone.
AB 2711 bill is blatant vote-buying for the vulnerable Muratsuchi running for reelection and the marginalized Lieu, facing serious challenges in his run for Congress. The fact that they are using other people’s money to buy votes is reason enough to vote them out of office.