An Open Letter From Steve Layton, E&B Natural Resources,
to the Residents of Hermosa Beach
Dear Residents of Hermosa Beach,
When E&B Natural Resources agreed to let the decision over the Hermosa Oil Recovery Project be decided by an election, we knew the outcome was uncertain. We hoped the community would vote in favor of our proposal, but we have no regrets letting voters decide the outcome because, in our view, the election process worked just as it should. The community was widely engaged, they evaluated the different arguments presented to them, and in the best civic tradition a democratic decision was made.
We are very proud to have been part of the process. E&B Natural Resources and the City of Hermosa Beach were able to demonstrate that a private company and a municipality could overcome very difficult barriers and achieve some remarkable results.
- We resolved a lawsuit that for years presented a danger to the City’s solvency.
- We mutually worked out an arrangement for E&B to loan the City $17.5 million so that the City could settle its lawsuit and then find a better way to make a decision than litigation.
- We provided extensive technical documentation to experts who conducted an extremely comprehensive environmental review and an equally thorough health assessment.
- Once these studies were completed, E&B and the City crafted a development agreement – and enforceable contract – that required extensive safety and environmental protections and provided significant increased financial benefits to the community.
None of these achievements were easy to accomplish. Each step presented challenges. Win or lose, we take pride in these accomplishments.
We still believe that the passage of Measure O presented a better future for Hermosa Beach. Obviously, a majority of the voters disagreed. But while Measure O failed to gain a majority, over a thousand residents voted yes and made the judgment that the Hermosa Oil Recovery project was good for the community.
E&B Natural Resources plans to continue to support the community of Hermosa Beach. We have moved our Los Angeles regional offices to Hermosa Beach and our employees, many of whom now live in Hermosa Beach or nearby communities, will continue to work on our projects in the region from this office.
On behalf of the team at E&B Natural Resources, we thank the entire community for allowing an election and for participating in the civic discussion. We plan on staying in close contact and commit to maintain our continuing support for our community.
President, E&B Natural Resources