IMAGE: SURFERS AND PROTEST SIGN AGAINST NATURAL GAS PROJECT
Dan Steinberg  /  AP
Surfers and kayakers paddle past a floating protest sign during the "Paddle Out Protest" at the Malibu Pier in Malibu, Calif., on Sunday. The protest is against a proposed liquid natural gas facility being built off the coast of Malibu.
updated 10/23/2006 8:48:32 AM ET 2006-10-23T12:48:32

Actors who call this beachtown home gathered Sunday with other locals to protest a natural gas facility proposed for a site 14 miles off the Malibu coast.

"We have to use our voices and band together and stop this," said Oscar winner Halle Berry.

The gathering — also attended by Pierce Brosnan, Jane Seymour, Dick Van Dyke and Tea Leoni, among others — was intended to raise awareness about how the energy industry has invested billions to liquefy and ship natural gas across oceans.

There are five facilities proposed for California, with three along the Southern California coastline. One of the world's largest energy companies, Australian-based BHP Billiton, is seeking to build the terminal off the coast of Malibu and Oxnard. A decision is expected next year.

BHP officials say the terminals would provide a reliable source of low-polluting energy. Opponents, however, say the terminals would not meet clean air requirements and could be terrorist targets.

Brosnan, who hosted the protest, said his opposition to the terminals extends beyond the beach in his backyard. He plans to oppose other proposed terminals, including one in Long Beach and one in Port Hueneme.

Mark Massara, a lawyer and director of the Sierra Club's California Coastal Program, said the recent celebrity interest in the terminals has helped their cause tremendously.

"This is the greatest thing that has happened to our effort," he said. "We have struggled over the last three years."

Following a pancake breakfast, dozens of surfers, including actress Daryl Hannah on her pink board, paddled out to a sign bobbing in the water. The message to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has the power to veto the proposal, had a picture of the proposed terminal with a red line through it and the words: "Terminate it!"

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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