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Hermosa Beach residents battle oil companies over drilling ban

Crowds gather at the beach, Sunday, July 18, 2010, in Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Crowds gather at the beach, Sunday, July 18, 2010, in Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Mark J. Terrill/AP

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The battle over oil drilling is mounting in Hermosa Beach. In close to a year, the city will hold an election to decide whether or not oil drilling should return to the South Bay beach town.

It’s been nearly 80 years since Hermosa Beach residents voted to ban oil drilling. Bakersfield-based oil company E & B Natural Resources is now asking Hermosa voters to overturn the ban. The oil company contends that the city stands to gain up to $500 million over the next 30 years.

Proponents of drilling say Hermosa Beach could resume delayed public works projects, shore up the police force and fund schools. Opponents of oil drilling, however, say the health and environmental risks of drilling are just too great.

This debate is pitting neighbor against neighbor. E&B Natural Resources wants to use the slant drilling technique.

Weigh In:

Is this a safer alternative to drilling through the sea floor? What are the benefits of drilling? Does Hermosa need the funds oil drilling will supply?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments!


Stacey Armato, Committee Chair of Stop Hermosa Beach Oil and an attorney

Michael Finch, Vice President of  Health, Safety and Environment at E&B Natural Resources