Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Statement to Torrance City Council: October 20th, 2015

Mayor Furey and Torrance City Council:

My name is Arthur Schaper, a long-time resident born in Torrance, CA.

First, I wanted to celebrate Assembly David Hadley (R-Torrance) for his signature achievement of getting pass a law which will allow the children of military families to enroll in any school they wish.

I wanted to share my comments about the testimony presented during the Exxon-Mobil workshop on Tuesday, October 13, 2015.

Because of time constraints, and the ongoing long lines of individuals who wanted to speak, I decided to email my concerns.

First, I recognize the community's fears about sulfuric acid and potential explosions, clouds, leaks etc. On February 18, 2015, I woke up, and then felt a strong shudder rock my apartment.

I was neither disturbed nor frightened by the jolt.

As I drove out, I noticed a lot of white particles on the ground and on cars.

I was not alarmed then. I received emergency texts from the Torrance Police department, informing me that an explosion occurred at the Torrance refinery. At least I knew what had happened. Now six months later, a growing alarmism has emerged in the community about Exxon-Mobil.

Despite the claims from, there is a dedicated yet latent agenda among environmentalists to thwart or stifle oil production, or to shut down Exxon-Mobil's Torrance refinery altogether.

One of Exxon-Mobil's employees, a Mr. Sakagawa, I believe -- shared that he has worked at the refinery for years, and has never felt unsafe. His family lives close to the plant as well.

I have never once felt unsafe in my city on account of Exxon-Mobil. If the refinery did not take proper precautions to prevent or to secure leaks and other hazards, they should be held accountable.

Yet I continued to hear people talking about "climate change. .. climate change" and the purported alarms associated wit this "concern."

Those statements were particularly offensive to me, since the workshop was all about informing residents in the city that the risks associated with AHF an MHF were relatively benign.

Certain alarmed residents in the city of Torrance must recognize that there would not be a City of Torrance without that refinery. I am affirming comments from individuals on both sides of the political spectrum when sharing this point. I add that I am not worried about potential flare-ups or explosions at Exxon-Mobil. Contrary to the hysterical comments and historical inaccuracies, we do not live with Chernobyl in our backyard, and such comments are irresponsible and counterproductive

Last of all, I wish to ask for those on this council or in the community who have endorsed Don Lee for TUSD School Board, please rescind your endorsement or at least help inform the community that he was not the only official endorsed Republican for that position.

Thank you.

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