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Opening Orange County's Coast for Oil Drilling

August 25, 1985

The energy problem, according to conventional wisdom, is how to increase energy supplies (especially domestic supplies) to meet projected needs. The solution to this problem is all too familiar: Ever more remote and fragile places are to be ransacked, at ever greater risk and cost, for increasingly elusive deposits, "if we are to avoid sending our boys to the oil fields of the Middle East to safeguard the world oil supplies."

A powerful class of itinerant political and industrial vandals is now attempting to pillage our coast under the rubric of solving the "energy crisis." The vandalism is not called by that name because of its enormous profitability (to some) and the grandeur of its scale. If one wrecks a neighbor's home, that is vandalism. But if, to construct offshore oil derricks and support facilities, one destroys a pristine coast, that is industrial progress.

Who are these transients of spirit? By necessity, they have no local allegiances or local point of view. In order to desecrate, endanger or destroy a place, after all, one must be able to leave it and forget it. One must never think of the area to be sacrificed as one's home or, for that matter, as anyone else's home. One must believe that no place is as valuable as what it might be changed into, or as what might be got out of it.

The public needs to rally its forces and bring every conceivable pressure to bear on those who can reverse the regrettable decision to lay open the coast for offshore oil exploration.

RANDY LEWIS

Laguna Beach

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