It was with deep sadness and anger that I read about the California Supreme Court's decision to allow "exploratory drilling" in the Pacific Palisades (Part I, Feb. 26). It is inconceivable to me how a state and people as enlightened as California could allow such a misguided and destructive activity to take place along what is arguably one of the most scenic beaches in America. There is no doubt that oil and ocean water do not mix as demonstrated with sickening results in the slime and scum still existing in the Santa Barbara channel from the oil spill so many years ago.
I have recently moved back to the Palisades after spending the last several years in Louisiana. Louisiana sold its soul to the oil and gas business in a Faustian bargain in which the citizens of the state have been doomed to an eternity in a purgatory of gray beaches, black water and poisoned wildlife. The abnormally high cancer and birth defect rates are a living (or dying) testament to the unhealthy impact the oil business had on the citizens of Louisiana.
Mickey Kantor, counsel for the so-called Los Angeles Public and Coastal Protection Committee was quoted in The Times as stating that the anti-drilling campaign is an "elitist" cause which would cost the city $100 to $200 million over the next 20 years. Unfortunately for the residents of Los Angeles, the cost of destroying another vital piece of California coastline cannot be so readily estimated since this stretch of beach is priceless and irreplaceable.