We fully support AB2711, and efforts to provide a loan to the City of Hermosa Beach (Hermosa Beach) from the state tideland oil revenues. Future payments from Hermosa Beach would fund the California Coastal Conservancy’s Climate Ready Program. This loan would allow Hermosa Beach to meet all payment duties to E&B Oil, were the citizens of the city vote no to expanded oil and gas development within city limits.
In 1995, Hermosa Beach citizens passed Measure E, an initiative that banned oil drilling in the city, which resulted in halting a project being pursued by Macpherson Oil Company. The potential environmental risks posed were analyzed by the citizens of Hermosa Beach, and by popular vote, decided that drilling in their city was not worth the risk to people, their coast, their ocean, and their economy.
AB2711 would provide a loan to Hermosa Beach from the tideland oil revenues to pay off settlement terms from the lawsuit that resulted from the 1995 vote, if citizens choose to uphold the ban. With this loan, the citizens of Hermosa Beach would be able to cast a vote based on science and their conscience, without fear of financial penalties from the settlement. Additionally, the bill would provide meaningful support to citizens of Hermosa Beach in their efforts to protect their city, their health, and their environment.
The loan would not adversely affect the State of California or taxpayers. Payments from Hermosa Beach would be used to fund the Coastal Conservancy’s Climate Ready Program. The Program provides grants to local governments to develop plans to adapt to climate change and sea level rise. Due to lack of funds, the Coast Conservancy has only been able to fund 13 projects, out of the 76 proposals submitted for grant funds. Payments from the loan to Hermosa Beach would help protect communities throughout the state. Furthermore, a no vote from the citizens of Hermosa Beach would prevent harmful fossil fuels from being burned, thus reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere responsible for climate change.
All Californians deserve the opportunity to vote with their conscience, without fear of financial reprisals. This bill would be a win for the citizens of Hermosa Beach, and the citizens of the State of California. We urge you to support this important legislation.