Talking Points and Hearing Guide

 Meeting Participation Guide

California Coastal Commission

Weds, Nov 14, 2012 – 9:00 AM

Time:   The meeting starts at 9:00 AM.  Attendance at any/all time from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm is extremely helpful.  We encourage you to arrive early if you plan to testify so you can fill out a speaker card.  If you don’t plan to speak, please come any time during the day.  PG&E will give their presentation sometime in the morning, and an organized presentation from environmentalists will be given after lunch–followed by public comment.

Place:   Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, East Wing.  1855 Main Street, Santa Monica CA, 90401

 Pre-meeting gathering:  Surfrider will be hosting a pancake breakfast for activists at 7am at Jinky’s Café at 1447 2nd Street. Santa Monica, CA 90401.

 Dress: T-shirts and materials to make signs will be provided.

Questions: For more info, visit ; Call Stefanie Sekich at 619-807-0551 (cell); or Paul Hobi at 831-239-9178 (cell)

 Directions: The Civic Auditorium is located at 1855 Main St. at Olympic Blvd, across from Santa Monica High School.  It is conveniently located just off the 10 freeway, in Santa Monica’s Civic Center. Take the 4th Street Exit and go South (turn left). Go to the third stop light at Pico Boulevard, and turn right. Then take the next right turn onto Main Street. The entrance to the Parking Lot is just north of Pico, on the right.

Check In:

When you arrive, locate our coordinators table outside of the civic auditorium to get a sign, T-shirt, or other materials, and to get updates on strategy and other information.  If you’re able to testify to the Commission, fill out a speaker card, and in the comments section write “I oppose seismic testing”.  Hand the card to a volunteer coordinator, or Coastal Commission Staff.  If you are part of a larger group, you will want to appoint one person that can speak for your whole group.  You may be limited to 1-2 minutes to speak; so be prepared to speak for a short amount of time.  If you don’t want to speak you can fill out a form letter or write your own that will be given to the Commissioners at the end of public comment.

Your attendance is valuable even if you decide you are not going to testify.  We will provide t-shirts, signs and other ways for your simple attendance to support the Coastal Commission denying the permit for seismic testing. We expect the Commission to vote on the project at the end of public comment and after they deliberate. Thank you for being on hand to support this historic conservation event!

Hearing Etiquette: 

  • When inside the hearing room, please whisper and be quite. 
  • Turn off cell phones.
  • When coming into hearing room, shut the door quietly.
  • You can hold up signs, but be mindful of people sitting behind you. 
  • Avoid making noises and clapping.

Speaking Before the Commission:

  • Fill out a comment card, and indicate that you are speaking on item 13b – write “I oppose seismic testing” on your card
  • When speaking say your name, your hometown, who you are, and any ocean related activities you enjoy (e.g. a parent/grandparent, recreational diver, surfer, etc).
  • Have a polite and positive tone–the Commission will be more receptive to your message.
  • Use a personal story or connection.  Public speeches are always more effective if you speak from your heart.
  • Tell the Commission why you oppose seismic testing, using very concise words– there will be a lot of people waiting to speak.  
  • Pick 2-3 points from below (use your own words):
    • Project can harm and/or kill thousands of marine mammals. Numerous studies demonstrate impacts from high energy sound pulses on marine life.  Impacts have been underestimated by PG&E who ASSUMES that most forms of marine life will move away from the sound and that the monitoring measures will eliminate harm.  Four endangered species: fin, blue, humpback, and sea otters are at risk, as is the very sensitive harbor porpoise.    
    • Project could harm ocean users who are present in water during testing.  PG&E admits that 154 decibels could harm ocean users, yet they are willing to expose people to 160 decibels, which is 4 times higher.  U.S. Navy says that 145 decibels is a safe threshold for humans.  Clearly ocean users are at risk. It will be almost impossible to keep people out of the water.
    • Project is severely flawed and unnecessary.  A former PG&E geologist and current USGS geologist conclude that the proposed testing will only marginally improvement what is already known. PG&E is not using existing geologic data to fully understand seismic hazards. New information is unlikely to change the worse case scenarios already being used to plan for geologic hazards.
  • Please avoid clapping after each speaker, even if you support what they are saying – it will help the meeting move more quickly
  • Avoid maligning PG&E or asking for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant to be shut down – we are asking the Coastal Commissioners to deny the permit for seismic testing.

For more specific information on the issue, go here.