E&B FACT CHECK: On the “Day at the Beach” ad

Over 80% of the petroleum products we use are used for fuel.

A very small amount of oil is used to make plastics.  In the U.S. plastics are not made directly from crude oil, but from Natural Gas Liquids, Liquid Petroleum Gas, and natural gas.

As we move to renewables for energy production, hybrid and electric vehicles, the military exploring seawater for jet fuel, etc., the demand for oil will continue to soften.  So there are plenty of other sources in places far from homes, like in North Dakota, that can supply the oil used for “stuff”.

Barrel of Oil EIA

Click image for source article from the U.S. Energy Information Association

E&B’s PR Firm: Specialists in Lobbying, Crisis Management, Litigation Support, Advertising

With the recent press releases and ads that have become more and more outrageous and false, let’s meet the man and PR firm behind it all.Word PR on newspaper

Eric W. Rose is a partner at Englander Knabe & Allen PR firm. It’s his name we see quoted in the press.

One case study on the PR firm’s website highlights the City of Whittier and how they influenced the city council to vote for oil drilling. Here are some quotes from Englander Knabe & Allen on their Whittier strategy:

  • Wrote signs that said “Our Family Supports Whittier’s Future”.  — Comment:  Sounds like E&B’s “Protect Hermosa’s Future” signs/citizen’s group.
  • “Through our program we were able to find local spokespeople who agreed to sign letters to the editor and who also agreed to comment at the public hearings of the Planning Commission and the City Council.”Comment:  Hmmm…. Wonder if E&B’s supporters are writing their own letters and ad statements or just signing what E&B wrote.
  • “Our program not only increased citizen awareness of the project, but it provided the appointed and elected officials with the “political cover” they needed to make the right decision.” — Comment:  Interesting statement on the “political cover”. The Whittier city council voted 5-0 in favor of the oil project.

Unfortunately for the oil company, later the LA County Board of Supervisors rejected the project, and it’s now on hold.  “The supervisors voted unanimously to deny the city the change in use from habitat preserve to oil and gas drilling operation on land bought by county taxpayers.”

As of January, 2015, the city of Whittier plans to defy the county and drill anyway, says the Wittier Hills Oil Watch Group.

Not only do we need to vote “No on O”, but we need to also support our city officials who are also “No on O”.

— Comment: Wonder if E&B was really behind that ballot argument lawsuit. It seems highly unlikely a resident, who is not a specialist in election law, could have raised the argument and paid the lawyers and court costs.

Uncover The Facts

E&B’s Ethics and Track Record

E&B’s ads are pure fiction.   Click here for 1-page FACT sheet (updated 2-12-15).

Ethics

  1. NEW 2-10-15: E&B’s “Trust the Scientists” ad ranges from highly misleading to false. Click here for the real facts.
  2. UPDATED 2-3-5: E&B’s revenue numbers are refuted by the Cost Benefit Analysis. Click here for the FACTS on the revenue. Click here for Easy Reader article on how Hermosa Beach’s city manager is contesting E & B’s revenue number.
  3. NEW 2-3-5: E&B’s ad on petroleum products is not true. Click here for the facts.
  4. NEW 1-5-15: Learn about E&B’s PR firm and their tactics on the Whittier Oil Drilling Project.
  5. NEW 12-18-14: City of Hermosa Beach now Fact Checking Political Ads
  6. NEW 12-28-14: E&B supporter LOSES lawsuit against the city and “No on O” ballot authors to force argument wording changes. Judge rules that “No on O” ballot argument statements are true and not misleading reports the Easy Reader. Read the Court decision on Petition for Writ of Mandate 12-19-14. E&B releases false statement on what the judge said. Compare for yourself.
  7. Misleading ads about funding education, police, fire, sewer improvements, etc. The majority of the royalties are projected to come from drilling under the ocean (tidelands). Royalties from the tidelands trust are restricted and can not be used for any of these services.
  8. E&B’s paid canvasser’s are lying about property taxes being raised by $1,500. Click here for the truth.
  9. E&B’s paid canvasser’s are lying about a roof or “dome” removing all odors. There is no such technology.
  10. E&B supporters have posted false information on E&B’s Huntington Beach oil drilling facility. Click here to see what the E&B Huntington Beach operation really looks like.
  11. E&B touts Nov. 2014 election for over 1 year, then surprises the city with a delay, threatens litigation unless their off-cycle election request is met.
  12. Misleading ads on active wells in LA. Manhattan Beach Mayor furious. E&B refuses to retract.
  13. At city council meetings on 4 separate occasions, E&B “surprises” the city with last minute emails/requests causing delay, disruption and ill will for the city and residents in attendance.
  14. E&B attacks resident in press release. See resident react.
  15. Hermosa Beach city manger requests that E&B retract 8/14/14 ad that was not factual/misleading. E&B refuses. See emails.

OperationsLand drilling rig

  1. 10-7-2014: E&B fined for illegally dumping produced water and crude oil in two unlined pits in the Poso Creek Oil Field.” See article.  See actual settlement agreement signed by E&B’s Mike Finch.
  2. 9-16-2014:  California farming company sues E&B (among others) for not complying with wastewater injection regulations and causing crop failure. Hermosa Beach project calls for 4 wastewater injection wells. See article.
  3. E&B fails to secure a drilling permit for a sampling operation in the Hermosa Beach Maintenance Yard in May 2013.
  4. 4-12-13: Conquistador Petroleum sues E&B and Francesco Galesi (see Worldcom connection below) for a failed drilling agreement and failing to pay.
  5. E&B Natural Resources has spilled almost 16,000 gallons of toxic fluid over six years in California!
  6. No long term track record in the Los Angeles basin. E&B acquired their Los Angeles basin entities as established operations in 2010 or later.

The Company

  1. E&B is privately held. Financials are not publicly available.
  2. Steve Layton, President of E&B, was CEO of Equinox Oil in 1988 when an oil blowout covering 2 square miles occurred. Equinox Oil later declared bankruptcy.
  3. E&B is owned by The Galesi Group. The Galesi Group’s CEO/Founder is Francesco Galesi, a former director at Worldcom, who was part of a large settlement to investors as a result of the 2002 Worldcom accounting scandal and bankruptcy. See article.

So Much Information…Who Do You Trust?

For those people who are thinking…”maybe this oil project isn’t so bad”.  Ask yourself. “Who has the most to gain from this project?” Is that door-to-door canvasser paid by the oil company or a volunteer? Is that ad paid for by the oil company, who has deep pockets, or by concerned citizens making donations? Is that oil supporter a large mineral rights owner or someone who was paid by the oil company in some way (e.g.  maybe their organization receives donations?). There has not been one open meeting by the oil company. E&B is courting mineral rights owners in closed, invite-only meetings, playing down safety concerns, inflating revenues to schools and the city, donating to local organizations and events, and placing ads that are misleading or even have false information.

E&B Thanks Supporters at Country Club (Click image for full view)

E&B Thanks Supporters with a Country Club Dinner Party (Click image for full view)

All the money E&B is spending on their campaign to win votes is just a business expense. The people and businesses supporting the ban on oil drilling are just concerned citizens volunteering time. None of these people have anything to gain monetarily from “keeping the ban” on oil.  They just want what is best for their families, friends and neighbors.

Not all journalism is unbiased. This article in the Daily Breeze is filled with misinformation, such as playing down community concerns. When you see paid advertisements supporting oil right next to an analysis of the Hermosa oil project, read with caution.

Click image for larger view)

Click image for larger view)

E&B’s Huntington Beach Operations… A Closer Look

Hermosa Beach vs Huntington Beach Oil Drilling Locations (Click on image for full view)

Hermosa Beach vs Huntington Beach Oil Drilling Locations (Click on image for full view)

E&B and their supporters compare the proposed Hermosa Beach oil drilling and production project to E&B’s Huntington Beach site.

Hermosa is NOT like Huntington.

Huntington Beach is on more land, is easier for vehicles to access, is further from schools and parks, and is much further from the beach.

Location

  • E&B’s Huntington location is at 1901 California St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648.  It covers 2 city blocks for a total 3.2 acres. They operate 28 oil wells.
  • The proposed Hermosa location would be on 1.3 acres and shares a city block with many businesses, homes and apartments. It would have 30 oil wells and 4 wastewater injection wells.
  • In case of an emergency, Huntington can be accessed from roads on all 4 sides on both properties.
  • In Hermosa, residents and businesses block access to the site on 2 sides; therefore, emergency access would be impaired. This also forces the additional truck/car traffic needed to support the construction and operations onto fewer streets.
  • The Hermosa location is also central to activities that bring in people from all over the city and even surrounding cities. This is due to it being sandwiched between 2 parks, the green belt, businesses and being along a walking route to Hermosa Valley school.
  • The Huntington location is over 4 times further from the beach than the Hermosa location.

History & Operations

  • E&B bought Angus Petroleum, the previous operator of the Huntington Beach location, in 2012.  Angus had declared bankruptcy. Therefore, the construction and preparation of the site and the original drilling was not done by E&B. This means the E&B has no experience constructing and drilling in a residential, beach community.
  • The Huntingtion operation produces 160 barrels of oil per day (bopd). Hermosa’s peak production could be 50 times higher at a proposed 8,000 bopd in a much smaller area.
  • Residents have complained about odors, both before and after E&B’s acquisition of this operation per AQMDAir quality/odors is one of the 9 significant and unavoidable impacts stated in the EIR.

Let’s Send Oil Packing PERMANENTLY

Back2BakersfieldThe ballot language and development agreement for the proposed Hermosa Beach Oil Drilling and Production project is now final.

E&B refused to accept the following FACTS that were requested for the ballot language:

  1. Potential Benefits” will now be “Benefits” — There is a go/no-go option for E&B after test drilling.  If E&B determines this is not a viable project for them, they can decide to not proceed with the project. This means there could be $0 and no benefits.
  2. 9 Significant Unavoidable Impacts” will now be “Unavoidable Impacts” — Even though the independent Environmental Impact report specifically states that there will be “9 Significant Unavoidable Impacts“.

E&B is only for E&B.  When 2 city council members requested that E&B increase their insurance coverage in case a blowout (explosion) occurred, E&B refused.  Risk of upset/blowout is 1 of the 9 Significant Unavoidable Impacts. An explosion at 6th & Valley would be devastating, since it’s so close to homes, businesses, parks and pedestrians.

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