Laura Ferguson, San Clemente
The Save San Onofre Coalition’s (SSOC) advertisements in the San Clemente Times remind us of their great compromise with the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) and sellout of San Clemente. The 12 elite environmental groups that comprise SSOC entered into a $28 million settlement agreement with the TCA and continue to use diversionary tactics while residents worry about their quality of life, wildlife, open space, home values and schools in the path of a proposed toll road.
The SSOC advertisements tug at the heartstrings of residents who equally cherish the environment. Many rallied alongside SSOC to help prevent the loss of waves at Trestles, preserve the watershed at San Mateo and protect the state parkland, yet along the way, the SSOC decided that a toll road through the park would have a graver impact than a toll road through the heart of San Clemente. What good is the protection of the park if the consequence is the destruction of an established town?
Why does the SSOC think their avoidance area is more important than San Clemente’s dedicated open space? These elite environmental groups’ stance on what they perceive as the only important natural resources endanger the quality of life for all of San Clemente.
The SSOC took advantage of San Clemente and continues to do so with its misleading advertisements. If they cared about San Clemente, they never would have agreed to forego opposing TCA toll road proposals outside the avoidance area. Instead, they would also ask the TCA to reopen the settlement agreement and include San Clemente’s and the HOAs’ natural resources in the designated avoidance area.
The sad truth is the SSOC did not have to enter into a settlement agreement to protect the natural resources they fought to save because multiple government agencies already killed the preferred TCA route. Their actions were greedy and selfish, and in doing so, the TCA bought off and eliminated a major obstacle.
These environmental groups wield great influence—influence that is no longer available to San Clemente—and what they have done is the truest form of capitalism.