It’s hard to believe that it has taken this long, but the city of Los Angeles is finally banning oil and gas exploration within its city limits. This long overdue move comes after years of campaigning by environmental groups and concerned citizens, who have argued that the practice of drilling for oil and gas poses serious health and safety risks to residents.
LA Finally Bans Oil and Gas Exploration
For far too long, Los Angeles has been home to a thriving oil and gas industry, with drilling operations popping up in neighborhoods across the city. In many cases, these drilling sites are located in close proximity to residential areas, schools, and parks – putting the health and well-being of residents at risk. Living near drilling is also linked to weakened lung function and wheezing, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Research.
Victory for Environmental Advocates and Concerned Citizens
But thankfully, the city of Los Angeles has recognized the dangers of oil and gas exploration and is taking action to protect its residents. The new ban will prevent any new drilling operations from being established within city limits, and will also phase out existing operations over the next few years.
After 8 years of advocacy from residents & advocates, @CulverCityGov voted to phase out oil production & require cleanup of well sites in Culver City's portion of the Inglewood Oil Field.— STAND-LA (@STAND_LA) June 18, 2021
This sets a precedent for @LACityCouncil to pursue an equitable citywide #JustTransition. pic.twitter.com/w8nYEO8vWG
This is a major victory for concerned citizens and environmental advocates alike. STAND-L.A. is an environmental justice coalition of community groups that seeks to end neighborhood drilling to protect the health and safety of Angelenos on the front lines of urban oil extraction.
“We have a lot of work to do, and today’s victory speaks to the power we have to create change. To the frontline communities and allies who persisted for the right to clean air, healthy neighborhoods and justice, we say: Today is yours. Today, you have won.” stated Stand.la on their website.
The Absurdity of Oil and Gas Drilling in Residential Areas
Of course, it’s also worth noting the absurdity of the situation. In healthy, normal residential areas, you might expect to find playgrounds, community centers, and green spaces. But in Los Angeles, it’s not uncommon to find oil jackhammers and drilling rigs in the middle of residential neighborhoods. It’s a stark reminder of the damaging impact that the oil and gas industry can have on communities, and it’s one that we should all be working to prevent.
Moving Forward with a Healthier and Safer L.A.
With the new ban on oil and gas exploration, the city of Los Angeles is taking a major step in the right direction. It’s a victory for environmental advocates and concerned citizens, and it will help to ensure that the city is a healthier and safer place for everyone who lives there. Let’s hope that other cities follow suit and take similar action to protect their residents from the dangers of oil and gas drilling.
Ten things you can do to live more sustainably
We often feel powerless when it comes to local environmental policies, but the truth is that we have the power to make a difference. Here are five tips and examples to inspire you to take action.