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Ballona Wetlands Shocker: Fossil Fuel Industry Calls Cops on LA City Council Candidate as LIVE Video Rolls!

Several squad cars converge on Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve

Fossil fuel activity near where endangered birds have been documented

Molly Basler, environmentalists and LA City Council candidate who was on public property when the cops were called

Egrets enjoying life at Ballona Wetlands, unaware there is a plan to destroy their home

Egrets enjoying life at Ballona Wetlands, unaware there is a plan to destroy their home

Defend Ballona Wetlands Logo

Defend Ballona Wetlands Logo

LA City Council Candidate Molly Basler was on public property documenting fossil fuel industry digging inside the wildlife habitat when cops swooped in.

It’s shocking to me that a private corporation would call police on a private citizen exercising her First Amendment right.”
— Molly Basler, LA City Council Candidate

PLAYA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA, USA, October 6, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- SHOWDOWN AT WETLANDS: 5 LAPD OFFICERS vs. ONE ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST... AND IT'S ALL CAUGHT LIVE ON FACEBOOK!
FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY CALLS COPS ON LA CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE DOCUMENTING INDUSTRY ACTIVITIES AT THE BALLONA WETLANDS IN MIDST OF A TUG OF WAR OVER WILDLIFE HABITAT'S FUTURE!

Environmentalist & Climate Reality Leader Molly Basler, running for Los Angeles City Council (CD-5, where Paul Koretz is termed out), was unexpectedly threatened this morning with possible arrest as police were called by gas company representatives while she investigated and documented what environmentalists describe as questionable industry activities at the wetlands. The story is making headlines.

In what critics call an effort to intimidate the public, many of whom are questioning why the fossil fuel industry has moved drilling rigs and other significant infrastructure onto a State Ecological Reserve that includes wetlands and rare, imperiled species, five LAPD officers in three squad cars descended onto the site in Playa del Rey, California, to question Ms. Basler.

Basler had nothing in her hands but an iPhone and was walking alone on a public street. By good fortune, however, as she was recording the scene, she was being watched by reporters and interested citizens at a news conference being broadcast on JaneUnChained News Facebook Live and simultaneously listened to by hundreds on the Voice America weekly radio program, hosted by Jane Velez- Mitchell.

YOU CAN WATCH THE DRAMA AS IT UNFOLDED LIVE BELOW!
https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=425562891754911&ref=watch_permalink
Police arrive at about 39:20 into the video. At 51:05 more police have arrived.

Here’s the background on the Ballona Wetlands controversy, which was being discussed at the live news conference, when police were called.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT
In a shocking development, and while people are focused on the COVID-19 crisis, the gas industry has been caught doing an end-run around the will of the public, which is rising up against the horrific plan to bulldoze the Ballona Wetlands, LA’s last coastal wetlands in Playa del Rey whose 640 acres is teeming with 1,700 species of animals and plants, some endangered.

THE PUBLIC SAYS: DON'T BULLDOZE BALLONA WETLANDS
During public meetings community leaders have denounced the plan to bulldoze the wetlands, which is being pushed by allies of the fossil fuel industry. A lawsuit has also been filed to stop this destructive project. The agenda of this phony “restoration” plan is to allow the industry to excavate the wetlands, refurbish crumbling gas infrastructure which lies underneath and throughout this ecological reserve, and extend the life of this facility which contributes to climate change impacts. The unpopular bulldozing project’s environmental impact report confirms the controversial plan would involve moving wells to allow new fossil fuel infrastructure to be installed.

FOSSIL FUEL ACTIVITY NEAR ENDANGERED BIRD HABITAT
Recently, local residents noticed workers digging and drilling inside the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, just feet away from where endangered birds have been documented.

UNDER THE RADAR
Ballona advocates have now learned that California Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration has quietly approved nine permits through an agency that oversees oil & gas operations in the state. In essence, these permits – in a covert and piecemeal way - start the destruction that dozens of environmental, Democratic and community organizations are working to stop.

SO MANY QUESTIONS SPARKING ALARM
The environmentalists and community leaders trying to stop the massive bulldozing project have posed numerous questions about this newly discovered work: has the industry gone through proper procedures to do this work in the California coastal zone? Why has the Coastal Commission not overseen permit restrictions normally required (including public hearings) for significant activity in a state ecological reserve? What is the role of CA Dept of Fish & Wildlife to protect wildlife at the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve?

TIME TO PHASE OUT FOSSIL FUELS
Several LA politicians have called for the gas storage facility in the Ballona Wetlands to be decommissioned. We are approaching the 5-year anniversary of the infamous Aliso Canyon gas blowout, considered one of the worst environmental catastrophe’s in California’s history. Aliso Canyon is the site of a fossil fuel facility similar to the one at the Ballona Wetlands.

TRYING TO PREVENT A DECADE LONG TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE ON LA'S WESTSIDE
The controversial bulldozing project would create a decade-long traffic nightmare on LA’s gridlocked westside, crippling traffic around LAX, Playa del Rey, Westchester, Marina del Rey, Culver City, Venice and beyond.

THE PUBLIC WOULD BE BLOCKED FROM THIS IDYLLIC SPOT FOR A DECADE
The public access that bulldozing proponents promote could be achieved today. There are trails and bike paths currently in use. One main trail is kept from the public by a huge locked gate. Who holds the key? The gas company. Public access is being held hostage in order to claim they need to destroy nature to provide public access. Orwellian. This 270-million dollar boondoggle must not stand.

For more information: defendballonawetlands.org

Contacts: Marcia Hanscom (310) 877-2634 wetlandact@earthlink.net
Molly Basler (310) 497-5980‬ mollybasler@greendreamcampaign.com

Marcia Hanscom
Defend Ballona Wetlands
+1 310-877-2634
email us here