L.A. bans new oil wells, phases out current ones


The Los Angeles Metropolis Council voted Friday to section out all oil drilling in L.A. and ban new wells, a historic transfer in a metropolis that was constructed by a once-booming petroleum trade and whose residents have suffered with a long time of environmental penalties in consequence.

In a 12 to 0 vote, the council accredited a brand new ordinance that instantly bans new oil and fuel extraction and requires that every one current oil and fuel extractions cease manufacturing inside 20 years.

The transfer is opposed by the oil trade, whose leaders warned metropolis officers that the transfer would damage the town’s funds and make L.A. extra depending on international oil.

In accordance with the town’s planning division, Los Angeles has 26 oil and fuel fields and greater than 5,000 oil and fuel wells. A number of the wells are energetic, whereas others are idle.

Many wells are discovered within the Wilmington and harbor areas, but additionally function in downtown, West Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, and the northwest San Fernando Valley, based on the town’s planning division.

Oil wells are recognized to emit possible carcinogens together with benzene and formaldehyde, and dwelling close to wells is linked to well being issues together with respiratory points and preterm births, research have discovered.

MAP: Try oil wells in your neighborhood

Environmental justice activists cost that low-income communities of coloration are significantly affected by the wells and related well being issues.

In an October letter to metropolis officers, the California Impartial Petroleum Assn., a commerce affiliation representing over 300 unbiased crude oil and pure fuel producers, disputed claims of “detrimental well being results” from oil and fuel drilling and manufacturing operations.

The group additionally mentioned that the lack of oil manufacturing within the metropolis of Los Angeles would result in extra imports of oil coming into California by way of the Ports of Lengthy Seashore and Los Angeles.

“The South Coast Air High quality Administration District has recognized oil tankers as one of many main sources of air air pollution within the LA Basin,” the group wrote.

The group additionally pointed to a June 2020 research by Capitol Matrix Consulting that estimated the oil and fuel trade brings in about $250 million to the town’s common funds.

The workplace of the Metropolis Administrative Officer didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark concerning the $250-million determine.

A 2018 Metropolis Controller report cited state information displaying that 77% of energetic and idle wells within the metropolis are operated by six firms: Warren E&P; Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gasoline LLC; Tidelands Oil Manufacturing Firm; Southern California Gasoline Firm; Pacific Coast Power Firm LP; and Brea Canon Oil Firm.

Metropolis Council President Paul Krekorian on Friday described the ordinance as a “monumental step” within the historical past of the town and its relationship with oil.

He famous that Metropolis Corridor is adorned with artwork celebrating the petroleum trade, a enterprise that helped gas L.A.’s development within the early twentieth century and later offered jobs for veterans after World Conflict II.

“This can be an important step in the direction of environmental justice that this council has taken in latest reminiscence,” Krekorian mentioned.



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