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HERMOSA BEACH : Council Tables Vote on Anti-Drilling Initiative

July 14, 1994|JAMES BENNING

The City Council this week postponed a vote until Aug. 9 on whether to put an anti-oil drilling initiative on the statewide November ballot or hold a special election next year.

The initiative's proponents, who collected 1,628 signatures, hope to quash a plan by MacPherson Oil Co. of Santa Monica to dig 30 wells at a slant under the city.

Council members said they want to study how a public vote will affect the project before they decide whether to place the initiative on the November ballot.

After Hermosa voters approved two pro-oil initiatives in 1984, the oil company was granted a lease from the city to drill the wells in a city yard at 6th Street and Valley Drive.

Critics say the project poses safety hazards, and contend that voters then were swayed by high gasoline prices. But Donald MacPherson Jr., president of the oil company, said a vote either way will not affect the project.

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