Activists Send Message to City Council

Ari L. NoonanBreaking News, NewsLeave a Comment

Perhaps the unemployed professional protestors who have been stalking President Trump could learn how to upgrade their effectiveness by studying and even emulating Culver City activist Tom Camarella.

Boisterous, direct and decidedly unbashful, Mr. Camarella’s most effective weapon probably is his mind. He is smart.

Decades ago he learned that The Opposition never wins by shaking its knuckles but by interlacing diplomacy with desires/goals.

He was dizzyingly busy at this week’s defanged special City Council meeting.

Before the Council set a tentative release date of Sept. 15 for preliminary new rules for the Inglewood Oil Field. Mr. Camarella and friends – including Dr. Suzanne DeBenedittis – distributed copies of the 680-word wish list directed at the decision-making City Council.

Most people would concur that, given the stakes, this is a textbook document from the activist community.


Morally, as a City of Kindness

We ask that you demonstrate that your top priority is protecting residents and others within our city boundaries from the major health and safety hazards science as shown are related to oil and gas production in urban settings.


As a Fiscally-wise City

  • Insist that Sentinel Peak Resources, or any oil and gas company operating within our boundaries, indemnify Culver City by carrying a surety bond of at least $1 billion.
  • The state requirement of $1 million worth of insurance is unconscionably inadequate. It probably was written in 1924, way before today’s high-risk ventures. Would $1 million pay for even one home near the Inglewood Oil Field?
  • If oil drilling/production triggered a major earthquake, do you think most homes, businesses, schools, other buildings and infrastructure would be covered by a billion-dollar bond given that the estimate for 3,600 homes valued at $1 million apiece is $3.6 billion. That estimate excludes condos, apartment buildings, School District property, roadways and infrastructure.
  • If any oil and gas company cannot afford this surety bond or is refused insurance, does a morally responsible City Council expect its residents and businesses to subsidize the oil field operator?
  • Foolishly, they may take our city to court just as PXP did – and our city won! Would any judge in his right mind rule against a municipality’s right to fairness and justice?


Don’t Get Conned

  • The city already has spent more than $1 million in preparing the draft specific plan and the draft environmental impact report. During the past 90 days, Sentinel Peak Resources has demonstrated they are not here to help us. You know they are here for their own corporate gain. The longer the city waits, the more the city will spend.
  • Oil and gas companies are trained by former military men in methods/operations to get municipal leaders and tribal leaders throughout the world to go against their own community’s best interests.
  • Work closely with the entire community. Let’s go forward with transparency in all meetings, including subcommittee meetings.
  • The collective brains, talents, education and experience and general chutzpah of our citizens unite with you, our City Council and staff is indeed The Little Engine That Could. We are too smart as a community to be pushovers they might find in other smaller cities.
  • Remember: In unity there is strength.


Next Steps

  • Don’t get conned. Can a leopard change spots?
  • Sentinel Peak Resources and their Big Oil lobbyists and organizational psychologists probably are working overtime to ascertain our values and vulnerabilities. This will allow them to strategize their next ploy to win us over. They already have psyched out Culver City’s dearth of affordable housing. Voila. End use of the oil field so it can be used as affordable housing.
  • Permitting housing on a depleted field could cost Culver City millions in damages as evidence accumulates about the out-gassing toxic effects of living there. Google Ujima Village in Willowbrook about the lawsuit when folks there sued Los Angeles County. They won on charges that their cancer and other illnesses were due to underground contamination.
  • Ask City Atty. Carol Schwab. She, Sherry Jordan and others were at a Water Board hearing when Erin Brockovich brought 120 folks from The Carousel in Carson, elders and little children testifying that their deformities, tumors and illnesses came from odors permeating their homes.
  • Such reprehensible land use is unfitting for a city. The core of our city now is intended to demonstrate kindness.
  • Enough of the negatives. Let’s look at the positive next steps.
  • Start with the upcoming General Plan.
  • Rather than mobilizing citizens to have to fight to protect our rights to basic health and safety, let’s work together with an even greater enthusiasm. Let’s engage the broad spectrum of citizens, businesses and visitors – all who contribute to our well-being.

Let’s bring together all who prioritize the health and safety of all parties. Let’s get all of these people of good heart communicating with one another. Let’s include the city’s paid consultants to work together to create our city’s constitution via the General Plan.

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