Los Angeles Bans New Oil Drilling, Will Phase Out Current Wells

An oil pumpjack operates in the Inglewood Oil Field in Los Angeles, California
An oil pumpjack operates in the Inglewood Oil Field in Los Angeles, California on Jan. 28, 2022. Mario Tama / Getty Images
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The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Friday to ban new oil and methane gas drilling, and phase out existing wells within 20 years.

The ordinance is a major victory for communities — disproportionately communities of color essentially forced to live in sacrifice zones — who have long suffered from decades of carcinogenic pollution released by wells in the city’s 26 oil and gas fields and more than 5,000 wells.

STAND-L.A., the Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling coalition that helped spearhead the new ordinance, celebrated that “Black, Latinx and other communities of color currently living near polluting oil wells and derricks in South L.A. and Wilmington will eventually breathe easier.”

It also called on “Our city and this council [to] own up to the anti-Blackness that created policies that allowed oil drilling in neighborhoods in the first place and that fostered an environment where such a horrific example of racism and corruption could occur between council members.”

For a deeper dive:

Los Angeles Times, AP

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