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Garcetti Has Ties to BHHS Oil Well

The L.A. councilman and family members have a slant-drilling deal with Venoco.

Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti is involved in a drilling agreement with the company that runs the oil rig at Beverly Hills High School, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Garcetti and several relatives signed a 20-year lease with Denver-based Venoco Inc. in 1998 that granted the company the subsurface drilling rights to a nearby Beverly Hills retail property that the councilman co-owns. The lease allows Venoco to extract oil and gas underneath the Wilshire Boulevard property via slant drilling from the high school which is about half a mile away.

According to the Times:

Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman said the candidate “has no memory” of signing the lease. In response to Times queries, Millman said, Garcetti looked into the agreement and found that he earns just $1.25 from it per year.

“It’s not really an issue,” Millman said.

But Garcetti and several of his relatives who co-own the Wilshire property could collect royalties if Venoco began producing oil or gas from the parcel. Otherwise, they are paid nominal rental fees.

Millman said Garcetti would donate any royalties to the Sierra Club.

Because the amount of money he has received to date is so small, Garcetti apparently has not been required to list the lease or the fees on his annual financial disclosure forms. It is unclear whether Garcetti has followed state and city disclosure rules for his ownership interest in the property.

In 2011 the Beverly Hills City Council enacted an anti-drilling ordinance that could halt Venoco's operations at the high school when its lease expires at the end of 2016.

Click here to read the entire Times article.

Marcia Hanscom March 01, 2013 at 04:48 AM
But what happens between now and 2016? They could be drilling tomorrow and then what? I hope Eric Garcetti realizes the best course of action would be to divest of his interest in this property.
Ace T March 01, 2013 at 06:52 AM
We need to stop all drilling in Beverly Hills period. The amount the school and city make is so small compared to the city budget and the risks that come with it. We only have one High School and if an accident happens it will be bad news for all residents and all our property values. It's very short sighted of the city to put the students and city tax payers at risk for major law suits.

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