The uproar over oil drilling in Hermosa Beach, with Measure O, however, attracted national as well as local attention. The measure failed three to one. No surprise there.
I fear that some Measure O advocates did not answer fears about potential oil spills and explosions. No wants an Exxon-Valdez disaster along our coasts. However, that disaster was nearly three decades ago. Technology has advanced, delivery of energy supplies has improved, and emergency response times have grown more efficient over time. One Hermosa Beach resident told me that if the safeguards were clear and convincing, he would have supported Measure O.
Consider this example, which demonstrates the worst-case scenario.
The media and environmentalist groups don’t talk about the 2010 oil spill along the Gulf Coast. British Petroleum went into high gear, not just with strong PR campaigns (including the resignation of the CEO, who went sailing will oil was filling up the Gulf Coast). They went to work and cleaned up the mess. The commerce, wildlife, and tourism industries have never been better in the region. Anyone whose business was harmed received remuneration from BP and assistance from the federal government.
One Hermosa Beach resident, who voted for Measure O, told me that in Torrance one can pass twenty derricks and never see or smell anything.
Let us keep in mind that energy exploration will always have risks, but those potential concerns have been greatly mitigated over the past decade.