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Los Angeles moves to end oil drilling in the city, phasing out new oil and gas wells over five years

Environmental Justice LA Oil Wells
Posted at 3:37 PM, Jan 26, 2022

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a measure to ban new oil and gas wells and phase out existing ones.

The measure would shut down oil and gas fields in the city after a decade of complaints from residents about negative health impacts including nosebleeds, wheezing and coughing. Residents of the city blamed air pollution on the sites.

Activists say that Black and Latino residents of the city are the most affected by pollution from the sites.

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday for a plan that would phase out new wells over a period of five years. As CNBC reported, over half a million Los Angeles residents live within a quarter-mile of an active oil and gas well, which can release various pollutants including benzene and hydrogen sulfide.

FILE - Q.C. Kelker, 83, stands at her home across the street from the Jefferson oil drill site Thursday, June 24, 2021, in Los Angeles.

Phaseouts like these are part of what is being seen as a statewide movement in California to move away from fossil fuel production to meet ambitious, but possible climate goals. There's also a strong public health motivation to the movement.

Asthe Associated Press reported, California's oil and gas regulator proposed in October to ban new oil and gas wells that lie within 3,200 feet of schools, homes, and hospitals.

Existing wells could potentially be subject to new pollution controls.