The Case Against PXP
October 7, 2009
Suzanne DeBenedittis of Culver City addresed the Culver City Council Monday night regarding PXP oil drilling.
Following is the text of her address.
Mayor Weissman, Councilmembers, City Attorney Schwab and City Manager Scott:
First, I must say, “Shame on you to PXP’s John Martini and Steve Rusch for
trying to intimidate our City lawyer and Council with threats of a frivolous lawsuit. Do you not know that our officials are simply carrying out their civic responsibility to take the time needed to assure our health and safety, (as too that of the human beings who operate the oil fields)? Has corporate pressure for profits caused you to forget that this is what democracy is about—putting human needs before private interests?”
With that said, may I remind everyone that PXP has used “scientific models” not real studies of the actual terrain. This is very dangerous. It is like having scientific proof that it is safe to drive 65 mph on our highways. Imagine if you drove at that speed on Highway One near Big Sur’s hairpin curves? You would be dead! So too regulations based on models, rather than actual conditions.
As you may recall
· Stanford studies, peer-reviewed at MIT, indicated that the deaths and millions of dollars of property damages from the collapse of the Baldwin Hills Dam were due to oil field operations.
· PXP has yet to disprove that this field’s operations over the years has caused landslides, subsidence and uplift; recently some homes’ foundations are cracking (needing repairs in excess of $100,000.00 -- only to crack again).
- With over 1600 bore holes already in these fields, and with PXP’s intent to enhance its production with the use of exploding the underground through hydraulic fracturing and then use slant drilling, common sense demands a thorough study of the actual terrain.
- Before any new permits are given, this study needs to be done by independent experts in the field. It is notable that no one on PXP’s EIR team is an expert in the geology of oil fields, nor were any experts invited to personally weigh in. (The EIR does have some references to the respected experts’ works, but quoted out of context).
· In order to avert the aforementioned potential damages, it is also necessary that Culver City be pre-emptive and demand PXP’s 3-D geologic maps of the underbelly of the fields and have them independently evaluated to determine if there are any risks from more drilling on the Culver City side of the Baldwin Hills.
If PXP wants to be a good neighbor and help move this process along, invite them to invest in helping to fund these independent studies instead of investing in a frivolous lawsuit.
I trust that Culver City will continue to gather more input from our citizenry, similar to the upcoming Town Hall at WLA College, Fine Arts Theatre on Thursday, October 15th from 6 to 9PM, where Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas wants to hear from us in order to address our concerns regarding our dwelling so close to the largest oil and gas production field in the nation.