LA City Council Votes To Ban Wells

The new city ordinance is a win for community-based and environmental groups, who, for decades, had argued that pollution from the wells was harming the health of the residents’ of Los Angeles. The Council members celebrated the vote as a victory for “environmental justice.”

“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,” Los Angeles City Council president Paul Krekorian said. “The time has come … when we end oil and gas production in the city of Los Angeles.”

Potential Job Loss and Higher Gas Prices

But opposing residents of Los Angeles worried the new rules could mean job losses and higher gas prices. According to the American Automobile Association, the city of Los Angeles already has some of the highest gas prices in the nation at $4.89 per gallon for regular gas, well above the national average of $3.43. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has also proposed environmental regulations that would crack down on oil drilling statewide. The governor wants to ban oil drilling within 3,200 feet of residential areas including: schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other “sensitive locations.” Newsom also has proposed phasing out oil production by 2045 and ending the sale of new gas cars by 2035 to reduce demand for fossil fuel energy. 

According to the city planning commission, there are idle, active, and abandoned oil and gas fields. The city has 26 oil and gas fields, and more than 5,000 oil and gas wells in the city of Los Angeles. While traditionally these wells have been constructed in heavy industrial areas, many have been located within residential neighborhoods, nearby community parks and schools. More than 500,000 Los Angeles County residents live within a half-mile of an active oil well, City News Service reported.

Study Finds Health Problems Amongst Residents

Los Angeles City Planning proposed the oil and gas well ban after researchers from the University of Southern California released a study in 2021 detailing reports of health problems among residents in neighborhoods near wells. The study found people in the University Park and Jefferson Park areas reported significantly higher rates of wheezing, eye and nose irritation, sore throat and dizziness than neighbors living farther away. Both of those communities are predominantly non-white with large Black and Latino communities, according to the U.S. Census.

The push to ban drilling in the City of Los Angeles is part of a region-wide effort to shut down oil and gas extraction throughout the county of Los Angeles, with similar measures covering Culver City and unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County passed in 2021.

The Patriot’s Tribune is a news media agency located in Los Angeles, California.
We are a group of industry veterans with collective experience and news/media journalling experience of over 15 years. We are committed to fair reporting & getting our listeners the truth and we strongly support a free America.

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