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a statement in a Western Oil and Gas Association information release dated June 5, 1974.
Prospects of finding significant accumulations of oil and gas off shore California are considered attractive, and if discoveries are made, a great advantage is their proximity to the consumer.
Now, since we do not burn crude oil in our automobiles, I presume proximity to the consumer means proximity to refineries. Here is where this possible Federal decision to open a major oil field in this highly urbanized area meets headon with land use and zoning prerogatives which are in the province of local governments.
State and local agencies have been advised as long as 25 years ago that our smog conditions made it unwise to build additional refining and power-generating facilities in the Greater Los Angeles Basin. Our existing refinery capabilities, we are told, are not now able to handle a more imminent supply of crude oil expected to come from Alaska's North Slope.
Evidently, additional refinery capability is planned for the Los Angeles area. For those who might be tempted to welcome this, that is, large refinery construction companies, some major unions and others who might view this as a great economic infusion, let me speak a few words of caution.
From Ventura to Dana Point, and including all the islands in this large coastal area, we have one of the great tourist industries of the world. This is an aquatic-oriented industry, with hotels, motels, restaurants, sailing, sport fishing, powerboating, and other recreational amenities.
It supports directly and indirectly a large segment of our population. The tourist industry is a service industry and is highly labor intensive. A review of annual reports of companies in this industry would show, typically, one employee for every $15,000 to $20,000 in sales.
Contrast this with oil production and refining companies, which are heavily capital intensive, employing only one person for approximately every $250,000 in sales. A massive program of placing drilling platforms in this marine playground and the accompanying proliferation of refinery and transport facilities on the shore is clearly a threat to recreational uses of this area.
To jeopardize the jobs of hundreds of thousands employed in the recreation industry in order to create few, new jobs in the oil industry, relatively speaking, would have great economic and social consequences.
Such large-scale offshore drilling operations and their required onshore support facilities would insure significant preemption of local, as well as State, land-use authority. This threat would not be limited to the immediate coastal area but would involve location of large inland transshipment terminals and facilities.
Federal and oil industry spokesmen have said that, if State and local governments block development of these onshore support facilities, production and transportation could be achieved through establishment of deepwater facilities for loading, entirely within the Federal jurisdiction, but that this process would entail greater risks of oil spills and other mishaps.
It will be essential to determine the relative risks involved in all oil operations, not only with today's technological state-of-the-art, but
in terms of projected technological capability. Further, the risk to the southern California area of either system may be determined to be unacceptable, so that a simplistic, either-or portrayal at this time would be specious.
In November 1972, the people of California enacted the California Coastal Zone Conservation Act through the initiative process and by a considerable majority. This represented a statewide mandate to provide long-term planning of a resource now widely recognized as both irreplaceable and dwindling.
Completion of the California coastal zone conservation plan is now scheduled for December 31, 1975. It will then be submitted to the State legislature for adoption.
The inherently large scope and impact of offshore oil drilling activities would very probably preempt areas of concern in the plan. The award of leases prior to completion and adoption of the plan is premature, to understate our position, and is the reason the California Coastal Zone Conservation Commission has joined with the California Attorney General in bringing suit against the Department of Interior. I am certain that this committee will find that the concerns and views I am expressing are not limited to the coastal communities in southern California. The Orange County and Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities voted 23 to 1 in support of a resolution expressing strong opposition to the proposed leases.
Eighteen of these are inland cities with no coastline or view of the coastline. The Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a similar resolution. You will learn later in these hearings of the hundreds of thousands of people who signed, in one weekend, a petition asking that this program not proceed.
The significant thing to me is that the great majority of these petitioners did not live along the coast. In Laguna Beach, for example, 11 percent of the 22,000 petitioners were Laguanans, with the remainder from all over the State and the Nation.
The Seashore Environmental Alliance hopes the wishes of these people will be taken into consideration in the Federal decisionmaking process when these petitions are delivered to President Ford.
The second point of consideration is the matter of the timing of the proposed sale of these leases. It is our contention that an adequate study cannot be made on a program of this magnitude in the time allotted. The draft environmental impact statement is due in October of this year and calls for all public hearings to be completed within 90 days. Of one thing we are convinced. The environmental impact statement will be big. But analysis, review, and response by public agencies and interested parties just can't be appropriately done in this period. And only 30 days are provided for response to the final environmental impact statement.
We have been admonished by the Federal Energy Administration to accept this as our contribution to Project Independence. Project Independence calls for national energy self-sufficiency by 1980. According to an information release from the Western Oil & Gas Association dated July 24, 1974, the rate of production is not expected to get into high gear until 1987, and of the estimated recoverable oil by the year 2010, 35 years from now, an amount would have been recovered equivalent to that which would provide energy to the United States for approximately 7 months.
Senator TUNNEY. Excuse me for a second. Please keep the signs down during the course of the hearing. If you want to go outside the hearing room, I don't mind at all what kind of signs you hold up. It is a free society.
But in the hearing room while we are conducting hearings, it is not allowed under the Senate rules to have signs.
A VOICE FROM AUDIENCE. We object to that strongly. We should have alternative fuels such as hydrogen and solar power. We need it now. You have said you wanted to go to UCLA. When will you pay attention to the people. You wouldn't have offshore drilling hearings at all if you would turn to alternative fuels. Why aren't you doing it? Senator TUNNEY. The Senate rules provide that no expressions during the course of a hearing can be held from the audience unless the hearing has adjourned for the day. Inasmuch as we are conducting a hearing now with witnesses testifying, I am going to ask you to adhere to the Senate rules. You will have an opportunity to make a statement at the end of the day today or tomorrow, expressing your opinion fully. At the present time, I would ask you to make life simpler for me and you by adhering to the Senate rules.
Senator STEVENS. I join him in that. The Senate rules are clear, and we are authorized to hold these hearings according to the Senate rules. In addition, it is a matter of simple courtesy. Your cooperation will enable others in the audience to see the witnesses and hear their testimony.
We are willing to hear you at the proper time. These witnesses are appearing in the order established. We plead for your cooperation. VOICE. We have children who cannot exercise because of the dirty smog. It is courteous to think of them and get clean air fuel. I have been trying to get Senator Tunney to UCLA for 2 years, to get Senator Tunney to support the hydrogen project.
Senator TUNNEY. You will have a chance to testify at the end of the day.
VOICE. We have children breathing smog and birds dying in Santa Barbara. I will push alternative fuels until you get it through your head.
Senator TUNNEY. Thank you for being courteous and sitting down. Please proceed.
Mr. HOLM. As I was attempting to indicate in my prior remarks, I think clearly the southern California Outer Continental Shelf cannot be considered a factor in Project Independence.
It seems doubtful that, if sold, the leases would get early attention from the industry. The reaction of the oil industry to inquiry from the Department of Interior indicates the southern California Outer Continental Shelf ranks fourth among major U.S. Outer Continental Shelves. The reasons, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, August 13, 1971, relate to the seismicity of the area and the lack of present deep water technology.
Why, then, sell for 1975 dollars, lenses which are to be exploited in the indefinite future? From the industry viewpoint, the environmental impact and other pertinent issues will have been dealt with and would not have to be reconsidered some years in the future when technology catches up with seismic and deepwater problems.
From the Federal Government's view point, the sale would represent a significant one time infusion of dollars to the 1973 budget. But our
children and grandchildren will be paying 21st century dollars for the product.
I share the concerns expressed by the industry relating to the present state of technology. The submerged lands in question as well as the State submerged and tidelands adjacent, are quite literally laced with earthquake faults.
This is of particular importance and should be carefully studied in the environmental impact statement. It is general knowledge that the Santa Barbara channel blow-out of January 1969 was through an earthquake fault, rather than through the core which had been drilled through the ocean floor.
The core was capped, but the crude oil under pressure found its way through a network of earthquake faults. There is no failsafe way of breaking through the ocean floor in an earthquake fault area. This fact was recognized by the California legislature in 1970 when they amended the public resource code to prohibit exploration in State offshore oil sanctuaries, except by seismic and other methods which would not break the crust of the ocean floor.
And oil spill containment technology does not hold out much hope. "Exploring Energy Choices, A Preliminary Report," by the Energy Policy Project of the Ford Foundation, 1947, states:
It is virtually impossible at present to contain and remove spilled oil when waves higher than 3 feet and/or currents of more than 1 knot are present. Chemical dispersants may have harmful side effects that are worse than the oil itself.
In evaluating the petroleum potential of all our continental shelves for the Committee on Resources and Man, geologist Preston Cloud reported:
Even the largest quantites likely to be found, including petroleum that may be forming, will not greatly prolong the exhaustion of estimated reserves at current rates of consumption.
And the ultimate answer lies not in getting our oil elsewhere, for we are running out of elsewheres. I believe that education, strong emphasis, and leadership from Washington in the conservation of energy can buy us the necessary time to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. We all know we can ill afford to burn up, at increasing rates, this resource which is a critical raw material for chemical, petrochemical, and fertilizer production in future years.
Thank you for coming to southern California to discuss this vital
Senator TUNNEY. Thank you, Mayor Holm. That alarm that went off indicated that 10 minutes had expired on your testimony and we took some of your time so that is why I didn't interrupt you.
I am going to ask the other witnesses, because of the number of witnesses we have to hear today, to contain their initial remarks within the 10-minute time limit. This alarm will go off when 10 minutes is concluded and we will put your statement in the record. That will give us time to question you.
Mr. VAN DEN STEENHOVEN. We are pleased you have chosen to come to Santa Monica to hear us out on the local issue of Federal haste and waste in regard to the offshore petroleum leases as well as the larger issues of the overall care and maintenance of the world's oceans, national and worldwide demand for petroleum, et cetera.
With regard to the present spector of offshore drilling, I want to make one point and I will make it several ways, that point being that the present timetable for offshore lease sales next May wholly and completely violates presently enforceable Federal guidelines, procedures, and laws. What is the present timetable?
As you can see, from now through October 1974, the environmental impact statement is under study, with the draft release scheduled for late October 1974. According to the Western Oil and Gas Association, this involves 350 persons. From November 1974 through January 1975, public comment is being solicited on the draft EIS, with the final to be submitted in March 1975. For 30 days after the final submission, there will be a 30-day post-release period. Then, late in April, the Secretary of Interior is legally permitted to reach a decision about the lease, after evaluating the final environmental impact statement and public review and comment.
Conversations with the Los Angeles office of the BLM have revealed that this hasty schedule is already beginning to slip internally due to the mammoth task involved, with the entire schedule being moved back at least 30 days.
There will be further slippage internally. Many of us observing these slippages from a close perspective feel strongly that they are being caused simply because the BLM and the Department of the Interior were not aware of the monumental size of the research and development task at hand.
They are just beginning to realize that adherence to the present timetable would require wholesale violation and/or ignorance of the necessary steps required by the Federal National Environmental and Protective Quality Acts, not to mention a host of presently adopted State guidelines.
The second way I want to make this point of Federal haste and waste is with regard to Outer Continental Shelf leasing, in particular, as a part of the presently underway Project Independence.
As I am sure you are aware, Mr. Sawhill and company have been holding hearings around the country with regard to various aspects of Project Independence since early August of this year, the first hearing having been held in Denver.
Perhaps ironically, this week's hearings were held in land-locked Atlanta. Perhaps less ironie was the subject under discussion in Atlanta, none other than Outer Continental Shelf leasing. How convenient for Mr. Sawhill to hold hearings regarding offshore drilling in a landlocked city 200 miles from the nearest salt water and 2,000 miles from Los Angeles, where he knows that the heat on the Outer Continental Shelf question is being turned up.
Similarly crafty, no hearings at all are being held in the Northern Great Plains, Appalachians, Louisiana, or any in southern California, by the Project Independence Committee, all charted for extensive energy resource development.
But location of these hearings, which are supposed to comprise a substantial part of Project Independence, is a mere humorous symptom of the fundamental, the basic sham of this Project Independence.
To reveal this basic sham, we need simply to look at the timetable again. The final Project Independence Blueprint Report is to be delivered to the President September 30, just 3 days from now.