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'Try the Truth, Mr. Hodel'

May 07, 1986

Your editorial was an excellent statement. I am not familiar with a better short presentation supporting the position of most California local governments with respect to the federal government's proposal to open up virtually the entire California coastline for offshore oil development.

In order to convince Congress that California's position is not simply "elitist" or "selfish," it's important that we demonstrate that our efforts to protect and preserve the California coast are good national policy, as well as good policy for California's local communities. Your editorial certainly helps make that case.

One point was omitted from your editorial, which I think is worthy of comment: In 1981, each leased acre sold in a California lease sale brought the federal government more than $6,000. The minimum per acre bid announced in connection with the latest 1986 lease sales is only $150 per acre. To proceed with lease sales along the California coast at this time is essentially to sell off our national mineral resources at bargain basement prices.

If leasing is permitted, American consumers are going to have to buy back their own oil resources at vastly inflated costs in future years. That's not a good national policy, and it's one more reason to reject Hodel's efforts to turn national assets into windfall profits for the oil companies.

GARY A. PATTON

Supervisor, Third District

Santa Cruz County

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