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Whittier Councilman OK With Drilling on Land He Made Into Preserve

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The proposal to drill in the Whittier Hills nature preserve has already turned neighbor against neighbor, and now, not at all surprisingly, it's turned an environmental group (backed by locals) against the city. Neon Tommy reports that the Open Space Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against Whittier in January, claiming that because it used Proposition A land preservation funds to purchase the site back in 1994, drilling now would be a misuse of county money. And because the city says it owns the full mineral rights to the area, it could make a whole lot of money off of drilling--a 30% royalty on all revenues, according to NT (the city gave drilling rights to Matrix Oil in 2008; it plans to drill about 1,000 barrels a day for several decades). Weirdly, Bob Henderson, the city councilmember who bought the land and turned it into a nature preserve back in the nineties, is now on the drillers' side, saying "It’s been an oil town for 100 years." The non-profit Whittier Hills Oil Watch is raising funds for the lawsuits on its website. A final environmental impact report will be out in the next month or two.
· Whittier's Oil Drilling Plans Face Environmentalist Opposition [Neon Tommy]
· Whittier Homeowners Association Eating Its Own Over Oil Plans [Curbed LA]