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Mr. GLADISH. I would interpret the policy of the State lands commission that they would not support any program that was in conflict with the California coastal plan.
Senator TUNNEY. In other words, the coastal plan has to be completed, concluded, and accepted before the commission would accept from its point of view the development of the Outer Continental Shelf?
Mr. GLADISH. It might be possible-let me give an illustration. You discussed this morning with the Solicitor from the Interior Department to some degree, and his assistant, the matter of development of the Santa Barbara Channel. It is my feeling that there is a proposal now before the county planning commission in regard to onshore processing facilities for oil from that lease, once the platform is placed there. Assuming the county approved onshore site for processing that oil, then the pipeline that would service that facility from the platform to shore and back to some facilities would have to cross jurisdictions of the California Coastal Commission and the State lands commission.
If it were the position at that point of the California Coastal Commission to approve that pipeline, then it would not be the position of the State lands commission that they would not approve it until the plan was finished.
Senator TUNNEY. The coastal commission would have to approve it? Mr. GLADISH. Yes.
Senator TUNNEY. Then, if they didn't approve it, your position would be there shouldn't be any Outer Continental Shelf leasing until the coastal plan is completed, accepted by the legislature, and adequate opportunity had to consult with the State, local, and coastal commission representatives.
Mr. GLADISH. That is difficult for me to forecast in that finite of an expression or within those parameters because the planning process is going on for the coastal commission which we are heavily involved in. They have schedules. We cannot forecast what our legislature might do in response to that plan.
Senator TUNNEY. I understand.
Mr. GLADISH. I don't see that they can make a total commitment in that regard.
Senator TUNNEY. I want to make sure that I understand what the State lands commission's viewpoint is. This is a hearing record which is going to be made available to the Congress as a whole. We will be using this hearing record, at least I will be, in my consultations with the other Members of the Senate and with the Department of the Interior, the FEA, and the Department of Commerce. I want to make sure I understand what the land commission's viewpoint is. Assuming the coastal commission does not approve pipelines coming in from the Outer Continental Shelf, is it then the position of the State lands commission that there should be no development of the Outer Continental Shelf in that particular locality where there has been a disapproval, until such time as the coastal commission study and plan is completed and has been accepted by the legislature, and after there has been consultation with State and local officials and the coastal commission by the Department of the Interior?
Mr. GLADISH. Let me respond in this context. The Federal Government has indicated this morning they were studying areas off the southern Califorina coast. They may as a result of these studies-they have several options. One would be to propose to move ahead in some form with all of them or propose to move ahead with a portion of them or they may reject all of these proposals based on the results of their environmental studies and other things.
Without the benefit of that kind of information and without the benefit of the energy element and other related elements of the coastal plan, it would be impossible for the commission to make a hard commitment inthat regard.
We don't know necessarily that they are going to be inconsistent. Senator TUNNEY. We have heard from quite a few local officials and they are able to make a hard commitment and the hard commitment is they don't want the Outer Continental Shelf leased until the coastal plan has been concluded and until there has been acceptance by the legislature and until such time as there has been consultation with the Department of Interior based upon that plan.
So, in other words, you are saying that the commission position in this area is different from the position of the local officials that testified?
Mr. GLADISH. In that context, I would say, yes.
Senator TUNNEY. You in the lands commission are willing to accept the development of the Outer Continental Shelf despite the fact the plan is not completed, given certain factors which only one's imagination can postulate.
Mr. GLADISH. We have, it seems to me, the obligation to follow the guide of NEPA in terms of jumping to a conclusion without having all the facts. It seems that process is supposed to bring forward the facts. There are two plans, programs going on, one by the Federal Government and one by the coastal commission.
Neither of these programs has come to a solid point of conclusion into what their design is in terms of leasing or restrictions regarding the coastline.
Senator TUNNEY. I point out to you that the coastal plan is a new environmental strategy that goes beyond NEPA and so by satisfying NEPA, you haven't necessarily satisfied the coastal plan nor have you satisfied-at least in my view-what the Congress intended when it passed the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, which assumes you will have these State coastal zone commissions and assumes you are going to have State plans, and assumes you are going to have consultation with State and local officials by the Department of Interior, based on the plan.
I want to thank you very much for being here and giving your statement or Houston Flournoy's statement, as chairman of the State lands commission. I don't have any more questions.
Mr. GLADISH. Thank you, sir.
Senator TUNNEY. We are going to have one last witness before the luncheon break. Lois Sidenberg will be testifying. Then we will have a break for lunch and we will reconvene after lunch and hear from Mary Ann Eriksen, Janet Adams, Shirley Solomon, Faye Hove and from any other citizens who want to testify. We will reconvene at 2 o'clock.
STATEMENT OF LOIS S. SIDENBERG, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, GET OIL OUT, INC.
Mrs. SIDENBERG. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity of being able to give you some of our ideas. You have a prepared statement that I have submitted for Get Oil Out, GOO.
Senator TUNNEY. That statement will be included in the record. I would appreciate it if you could either summarize it or perhaps, if you so desire, incorporate it in the record and then speak extemporaneously about what you would like to highlight.
Mrs. SIDENBERG. What I have done is eliminate some of the paragraphs in the submitted statement and having sat here all day yesterday and today, I have added some written remarks that I would like to present now.
Senator TUNNEY. Fine.
Mrs. SIDENBERG. Most of what was said yesterday and so far today has been like living a nightmare, a repetition of what Santa Barbara area officials and citizens were saying in 1967 and 1968, prior to leasing in the channel.
Yet, in spite of expert opinion that the seabed was geologically unstable, subject to severe seismic disturbances and the area was environmentally sensitive, the leasing took place. The Secretary of the Interior subsequently called this his "Environmental Bay of Pigs." But there is little comfort in this to the Santa Barbara area where 5.5 years after the disastrous blowout, oil is still leaking into the channel daily. We look at five unsightly platforms in the OCS and six more in the sidelines. And the failure of one of the safety devices resulted in 50 square mile slicks and reblackening of our beaches.
Mr. Gladish failed to mention when he said there had never been an accident in State waters that 4 years ago there was a fire on a platform off of Carpinteria and 3 years ago one off of Summerland.
That was extremely dramatic. The other problems we have as far as operation in State waters is supply water for the particular operation. This could certainly affect any operation in the OCS as water must be supplied from the mainland. Fifty-three years ago in 1920, the then Director of USGS was saying what we are saying today about the use of oil. It is irreplaceable. There is a necessity of conservation and finding practical substitutes or other adequate sources. We are still speaking of the energy crisis, the rapid depletion of petroleum sources, while at the same time, we continue to deplete them for uses which contribute to the increasing degradation of our environment. Together with those concerned about this issue 53 years ago, we should now consider whether the solution lies not in making more oil available, but in adoption of programs to arrest its profligate use, and in preparing for use other available sources of energy.
We are not saying that all oil development should cease, or that new efforts should not be initiated. What we are saying is, it is imperative that the Department of the Interior makes proper, objective, and unbiased evaluation of the areas where such operations are contemplated, not succumbing to the pressures of the moment by actions which could eventuate in irreparable environmental and concurrent economic damages to an area, far exceeding any benefits which might be accrued.
We are told that regulations have become more stringent since the 1969 blowout. However, during the past few years, there is documented evidence that in the Santa Barbara Channel operations alone, inspection has been cursory, inspectors are not entirely qualified, drillers are inadequately trained and 76 instances of regulation violations were listed by the GAO in 1 year.
Adding to the pollution from oil still leaking daily into the channel from the original blowout are drilling cuttings, wastes, acids and detergents. Sailors and commercial fishermen complain of encountering unmarked debris and obstructions, left from drilling operations, floating on or immediately below the surface of the channel.
The Santa Barbara Channel is an example of the results of ill-advised leasing and development. Admitted that the channel poses unusual geological problems which may not exist in other OCS areas, but similar damages could be expected to the environmental assets of other coastal communities if leasing and development is permitted. The USGS has stated that industry accidents are expected to occur at historical rates with any increase being in direct relation to the increase in operations.
In other offshore areas, during the past 2 years, the list of operational accidents due either to nonuse or malfunction of safety devices is too long to list here. However, if it is so desired, I have a number of those accidents listed with me and will be happy to present them if questioned.
As to the efficacy of blowout and other operational safety devices, people forget that 11 months after the channel blowout the failure of a safety device to function on platform A, when the pressure in the well dropped, resulted in a 50-square-mile slick covering the channel and again blackening the beaches. It was 12 hours before the well was shut down and repairs started.
In addition to the damaging effects of a blowout or spill on the beaches and seas of the coastal communities, one must also seriously consider the visually downgrading effect unsightly platforms have on the environmental assets of coastal communities. Platforms 511⁄2 miles offshore are visible about 80 percent of all daylight hours during the year.
The Channel Islands are some 22 miles from the Santa Barbara County mainland and are distinctly visible except on foggy days. Therefore, any platform off the coast of southern California would have to be at a distance of some 20 miles to avoid visibility from shorefronts, including residential areas.
Offshore operations require onshore facilities-I think you have discussed that but I think it is important as far as the economy in the area is concerned.
It must be noted that there is a great deal of difference between southern California offishore operations and those in the OCS off certain sections of the Atlantic seaboard. The climate in southern California makes the recreational uses of beach and sea year-round activities upon which the economy of coastal communities depend. However, along the Atlantic seaboard, from Maine to the Carolinas, there are only 3 to 4 months of the year when beaches and sea are used for recreational purposes. This must be a consideration when determining where OCS operations are to take place.
Yesterday, Senator Stevens complained there was opposition in areas where such development was proposed. There are good reasons and the reasons are because in the past there has not been adequate consideration given to the irreparable environmental damage experiences in many areas.
The oil companies have stated recently that the OCS along the southern California coastline ranks only fourth on the list of desirable locations, citing unperfected technology and danger from frequent severe seismic disturbances. There are numerous examples of offshore platform operation accidents during the past few years which show that operations are far from perfected to date.
We have followed closely the development and testing of containment and recovery systems for oil spills and can state that none have proved effective in anything but the most favorable weather and sea conditions and only for containing and recovering small amount of spill. As an example of inadequacy, containment and recovery of oil from a tanker collision in San Francisco Bay some 8 months ago had to be called off because of high seas.
One of the conditions established by the State Lands Commission. for lifting the moratorium on new drilling from existing structures in the tidelands was based on demonstration that containment and recovery systems for oil spills had been perfected and were readily available.
In fact, there has been no evidence that such systems have proved effective in weather and sea conditions prevailing along our coastline. We, therefore, consider the State's action irresponsible.
Prior to any consideration of leasing in the OCS off the southern California coastal area there are a number of questions which need to be answered:
1. Does Project Independence make sense? If so, why has a large percentage of Alaskan oil already been contracted for to Japan? 2. Is there actually a need at this time for developing the California OCS? With Alaskan oil coming to the west coast, won't there be a surplus of oil in California? Isn't there a surplus now? What reliable figures are available on this? It must be noted that Alaskan oil can only be shipped to the west coast.
3. If gas and oil are needed on the west coast, why not increase production of present onshore wells, and the development of the Elk Hills Naval Reserve in Kern County, before buying a pig-in-a-poke by opening up the California OCS?
4. Are there adequate west coast refining and separating facilities presently available for processing the additional oil and gas which would be produced from California OCS developments?
One cannot help having the recurring sense of futility in what we are doing today. I believe it is imperative to have protective legislation enacted.
Senators Tunney and Cranston have entered a bill. This bill would guard against oil development at this time. There should be a concerted effort throughout the State to gain the support of enough Members of Congress to have the bills enacted at the opening session of the next Congress.
I see this as the only possible chance of preserving the integrity of the coastal areas and islands. Stewart Udall called leasing in the Santa