Protest Over Oil Drilling In Whittier Hills

Residents want to keep oil wells out

With the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico dominating headlines all summer long, residents in Whittier Hills are trying to make sure oil drilling never happens in their community.

A protest was set for Tuesday evening in front of Whitter City Hall. It is organized by Whittier Hills Oil Watch (WHOW), a non-partisan organization.

The City Council decided two years ago to consider drilling for oil in Whittier Hills. City Manager Steve Helvey defended the Council's decision, saying that drilling for oil could generate at least $6 million annually or $180 million over 30 years.

Matrix Oil Co. of Santa Barbara wants to set up 60 oil wells in Whittier Hills but opposition has been growing. Residents have asked the City Council to shut the process down because the say it would be create problems with noise, traffic congestion, additional toxins in the air and overall quality-of-life issues.

Last month, the City Council voted to expand a study for oil drillng to include socio-economic data. The new information will include how the project would affect housing values and how much revenue the city might get in royalties.

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