April 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

MALIBU News

Offshore Natural Gas Plant Plans Abandoned
By JOE FASBINDER

One of the less-obvious victims of lower petroleum prices is a much-derided liquefied natural gas plant that Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer had tried to construct 21 miles off the coast of Malibu.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd., issued a one-page report saying that market conditions no longer support plans for the Ocean Way venture and efforts to build the floating LNG facility were being scrapped.

What was not said was that the plan had come under nearly constant attack by residents of seaside Southern California, with worries about pollution and even terrorist attacks.

A spokeswoman for Woodside Natural Gas said the company planned to bring the project back when economic conditions changed to favor the future of the LNG project.

The Democratic Representative from Venice said in a statement “I’ve long said the Woodside LNG project posed serious environmental problems and made LAX a bigger security risk. Perhaps there is a role for LNG as a transitional fuel, but our region already has access to adequate gas supplies to meet market demands. I’m glad that Woodside recognized the level of local concern over this project and am grateful to the elected officials and residents who made their opposition known.â€

Fran Drescher for US Senate?

The Malibu Times quotes actress Fran Drescher as saying she might run for the U.S. Senate – in New York. Right now, Caroline Kennedy is the leading contender for the seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ascension to the new administration’s Secretary of State office. Drescher told the newspaper that publicity over her possible run for the office was her way of putting her “toe in the water†should she decide to run in 2010. “I’ve been told by very high level U.S. senators that I should run for the Senate, and that I’d be great in the Senate,†Drescher said.

Keeping our Canyons Safe
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy is proposing to install new overnight campgrounds in three of this area’s most delicate canyons: Ramirez, Escondido and Corral. These three canyons are in areas classified by the state as “Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones.â€

Also, the Conservancy is pushing its plan to rent out the publicly-owned Ramirez Canyon Park facilities for 32 private major events a year, with as many as 200 people per event. Because Ramirez is a box canyon, with only one way in and out, these development plans raise public safety concerns.

Last year’s Corral Canyon fire and the recent fire in Montecito destroyed hundreds of homes and threatened thousand of lives. And these fires had two things in common: They were caused by people who did not completely extinguish their fires; and the millions of dollars spent to fight the fires were paid for by the taxpayers.

The Malibu City Council decided that allowing camping and intensive public uses in high fire areas created too great a risk to visitors and neighbors. That decision has been opposed by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

The Conservancy is taking its plans to the California Coastal Commission and hopes to convince the Commission to compel Malibu to accept these development proposals. There will be a hearing in February. For more information, visit www.safecanyons.com

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