The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Friday to place a ban on all new oil and gas well drilling, with existing wells to be phased out in the next two decades.
Both the State of California and Los Angeles had previously placed drastic limits on current oil and gas drilling within the state and the Los Angeles area respectively. In 2021 alone, California passed laws or signed agreements to ban new gas and oil development from taking place within 3, 200 feet of most existing buildings, ban fracking by 2024, ban all oil extraction by 2045, and phase out oil and gas production by 2045, with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors also approving a law to ban all new oil wells and drilling in unincorporated parts of the County and closing 1,600 idle or unused wells.
However, the City of Los Angeles began formulating plans to end oil and gas extraction much sooner than 2045, with a motion put up for discussion earlier this year to ban all new extraction immediately, and phase out the rest by 2042. The motion, based on the environmental and health damages of existing wells, shown through multiple studies of the wells worsening the health of Los Angeles residents living nearby, quickly garnered support throughout the year, leading to the vote on Friday.
“Hundreds of thousands of Angelenos have had to raise their kids, go to work, prepare their meals and go to neighborhood parks in the shadows of oil and gas production,” said Los Angeles City Council president Paul Krekorian of the motion. “The time has come when we end oil and gas production in the city of Los Angeles.”
The City of Los Angeles, which currently has 780 active oil and gas wells and 287 idle wells, would need to permanently shut down and seal the over 1,000 open wells throughout the city. Oil companies who defended the wells throughout the year noted that just closing the wells could lead to additional environmental issues, but City attorneys dismissed those concerns, influencing a unanimous vote.
“The half a million Angelenos who live within a quarter mile of our remaining oil wells suffer greater adverse health effects, including respiratory ailments, cancer and problem pregnancies,” tweeted Krekorian later on Friday. “Today’s vote is a victory for community activism and environmental justice.”
The half a million Angelenos who live within a quarter mile of our remaining oil wells suffer greater adverse health effects, including respiratory ailments, cancer and problem pregnancies. Today's vote is a victory for community activism and environmental justice.
— Paul Krekorian (@PaulKrekorian) December 3, 2022
“In Los Angeles, we sit on the largest urban oil deposit in the world,” added Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson ahead of the vote. “So if Los Angeles can do it, cities around the world can do it.”
However, oil and gas companies, who have invested tens of millions into oil and gas infrastructure throughout the city, including many fake buildings to make the drilling more aesthetically pleasing, countered that they will likely legally challenge the action in some way shape or form.
Legal counters against the motion are expected in the near future.
- Bill To Repeal California Cruising Ban Introduced In Assembly - February 7, 2023
- CA Bill To Allow Binational Students In Mexico Receive In-State Tuition Progresses - February 6, 2023
- Controversial SD County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher Announces Run For State Senate In 2024 - February 6, 2023