In response to Craig Schuman’s recent letter “Watchdogs on Alert” (12/15), it is important to point out that Heal the Bay has done a lot of great things but opposing LNG isn’t one of them. Heal the Bay has a history of publicly opposing projects of which they do not approve and filing lawsuits to stop them. I happen to like Heal the Bay and have contributed to their organization because of their involvement in the Malibu Lagoon Restoration and their successful lawsuit forcing the City of LA and the EPA to comply with the federal Clean Water Act.
But they’re backpedaling on LNG for reasons that appear to be political, and it is disappointing their role in the Cabrillo LNG debate is reserved to commenting on ways to improve the EIR, and minimizing impacts to marine life.
This issue is of importance because several of us were stunned to listen to Heal the Bay’s chief biologist, Shelly Luce, at a Malibu City Council meeting state that the organization had decided not to support Malibu’s amendments to the Coastal Commission’s LCP because we were proposing a variance process to allow people to have a yard within 100 feet of a drainage ditch. Her presentation was highly critical of Malibu homeowners, who she insisted on calling “developers.” Residents were naturally pained to hear Heal the Bay reject a democratically developed set of rigorous environmental protections in favor of the totalitarian compendium of regulatory takings in the Coastal Commission’s LCP.
So Heal the Bay is entirely free to choose not to oppose a potentially catastrophic LNG project off of Malibu. But it is inconsistent to chase the shadows of Malibu homeowners while waffling in regards the boogie man of a dozen offshore future LNG plants.