Offshore drilling opponents march from City Hall to Ventura Pier

The group is vehemently opposed to the proposed continuation of offshore drilling. Photo by Bernie Goldstein

by Richard Lieberman

CFROG (Citizens for responsible oil and gas) held a protest march in Ventura. The environmental group is working to stop the federal governments plan to open the coastline to more oil and gas drilling. Since the 1980’s offshore oil and gas leases have virtually been put on hold. This past January the Department of the Interior released a proposal to sell oil and gas leases in federal U.S. waters, including off the coast of California.

The rally dubbed ‘Walk to the beach, Hands Across the Sand” started at noon on February 3, 2018 at Ventura City Hall. Speakers heralded the immense dangers to our coastline and the marine life that depends on the sea and shore to survive.

Kimberly Rivers Executive Director of CFROG said “This march is to compel our Federal Government to protect our coast from this crazy plan.” CFROG a five-year-old organization was created by a group of residents who saw local oil and gas projects in their areas and, participated in the Ventura County conditional use permit process and, they didn’t like what they terms of the county planning process that they believed the city councils involved were “advocating for the oil and gas companies” said Rivers.

About 70-100 people participated in the march and Director Rivers said, “she was pleased with the turnout.” “The fact is that Ventura County oil and gas is an integral part of the county economy, but in fact other sectors contribute as much.” She added. “We are like a watchdog, watching the regulatory and oversight agencies,” said Rivers.

The group is vehemently opposed to the proposed continuation of offshore drilling. The current administrations plan that the federal government has put forward, potentially opening the entire coast to more leasing and drilling fly’s in the face of public sentiment said Rivers.

As the march progressed horns from supporters and some from detractors honked their messages to the demonstrators. The march progressed to the coast near the Ventura Pier where demonstrators formed a line across the sand in protest.

The CFROG organization plans to continue monitoring the regulatory and oversight agencies and will attempt to stop the federal governments plan to open our coastline to more oil and gas drilling. “The risks are just to great.” Said Rivers.

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