Former PG&E President serves on board of MLPA “Initiative” funders

In an egregious conflict of interest, a former President and CEO of the company responsible for a plan to kill marine life in a state marine reserve, serves on the board of the foundation that funded the creation of that reserve, and other so-called “marine protected areas” created by a totally corrupt MLPA “Initiative”!

by Dan Bacher

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s plan to conduct high energy seismic testing on the Central Coast off the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant has spurred massive opposition by fishermen, Tribal representatives and environmentalists from California, the nation and throughout the world.

Opponents of the recently delayed and downsized plan say the seismic testing by means of high powered air guns will kill large numbers of whales, seals, dolphins, salmon, rockfish and other species.

“The project has been delayed and downsized, but the plan remains dangerous, destructive and unnecessary and threatens Morro Bay Estuary State Marine Reserve, Cambria State Marine Reserve, and to the Northwest, Davidson Seamount,” said Joey Racano of the Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing Facebook Community. ( “There are alternatives to the ‘air cannon’ method PG and E can use that will produce better results and save our marine environment. Demand that they be used.”

Racano noted that Dave Potter of the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, the San Simeon Community Services District, and the Morro Bay City Council have all recently voiced their opposition to the seismic testing proposed by Pacific Gas & Electric.

Representatives of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council at the September 24 Fish and Game Commission meeting in Sacramento said they strongly oppose the seismic testing plan – and hadn’t been formally consulted by PG&E, state and federal authorities about the project, as is required by state, federal and international laws.

“We have been here for 18,000 years and you we don’t give you permission to take wildlife off our coast,” said Fred Collins, the Northern Chumash Tribal Council Administrator. (

As opposition to the deadly project mushrooms, it is absolutely essential to understand that one of the key reasons why PG&E has been able to even entertain the idea of erasing marine life in a state marine reserve off the Central Coast could have something to do with the fact that the former head of PG&E served on the board of the shadowy foundation that funded the alleged “marine protected areas” created under the corrupt Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

Gordon S. Smith, the former President and CEO (1997-2006) of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), serves on the Board of the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, the controversial foundation that funded the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. (

In an egregious conflict of interest, we have a former President and CEO of the company responsible for a plan to kill marine life in a state marine reserve serving on the board of the foundation that funded the creation of that reserve and other alleged “marine protected areas” under the MLPA Initiative!

Smith joined PG&E in 1970 as a financial analyst and held a number of financial positions in the company, serving as Treasurer as well as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 1991-1997. Mr. Smith is a former Director of the California Chamber of Commerce and the Bay Area Council. He also served as a Trustee of the University of San Francisco, a Director of the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, and a Trustee of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, according to the foundation’s website.

This foundation, along with the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and David and Lucile Packard Foundation, is also notorious for funding studies by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) promoting the construction of a peripheral canal or tunnel to export more Delta water to corporate agribusiness and southern California. The construction of the tunnel is likely to hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt and other species.

It is a fact that Gordon Smith and his cohorts on the board of the Resources Legacy Foundation, along with Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, and other corporate operatives on the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force, went out of their way to make sure that the alleged “marine protected areas” fail to protect the ocean from seismic testing, military testing, pollution, wind and wave energy projects, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering. (

The tremendous risk to marine life by seismic testing exposed! 

The tremendous risk the seismic testing presents to whales, dolphins and other marine life is starkly revealed on page 121 of the “Central Coastal California Seismic Imaging Project Environmental Assessment” under Section 4.12.5, Potential Numbers of ‘Takes by Harassment.’ ( Federal officials estimate a total of 2,830 whales, dolphins and seals of 25 different species will be “harassed.”

The worst case scenario (including a 25% contingency) of “take by harassment” includes 1 Minke Whale, 2 Sperm Whales, 5 Dwarf Sperm Whales, 15 Blue Whales, 97 California Gray Whales, 25 Fin Whales, 13 Humpback Whales, 1 Short-Finned Pilot Whale, 3 Baird’s Beak, 7 Killer Whales, 8 Striped Dolphins, 8 Small Beaked Whales, 81 Dall’s Porpoise, 82 Long-Beaked Dolphins, 98 Risso’s Dolphins, 114 Northern Right Whale Dolphins, 198 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, 1,652 Bottlenose Dolphins, 1,834 Short-Beaked Dolphins, 76 Harbor Seals, 1,062 California Sea Lions and 1,485 Southern Sea Otters.

This scenario also includes untold sea turtles of several varieties, numerous fish and bird species and the next generation sea life including nearly 4 million larva of all types, according to Julie Tacker, San Luis Obispo activist and former LOSCD director. (

For action alerts and updates on the campaign against seismic testing, go to:


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