By Elizabeth Marceline | City News Service
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday, September 15, to block new oil and gas wells and to remove existing wells in unoccupied areas.
Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who advised the move, said the negative effects of such operations were now well documented.
“Scientific and health findings are clear,” says Michelle. “There are short-term and long-term health consequences associated with living near active and inactive wells. These include reduced lung function, asthma, cardiovascular disease, low birth weight and other reproductive health effects.
More than half of the oil fields in the unincorporated areas of LA County are in the 2nd District represented by Michel, and about 60% are stored in the English oil field, the largest urban oil field in the United States.
MHL: “La County has long oil and gas development and poor land use decisions, which have resulted in people being too close to where they live, work, play, go to school and pray. Many residents may not even know it, but tens of thousands of people in LA County live close to a gas well and 73% are people of color.
The county strike team identified 1,046 active wells, 637 idle wells, and 2,731 abandoned wells in areas not covered by the county, according to a note to the board on June 3, 2021.
Dr. Lorenzo Antonio Gonzalez, a social worker, said it was time to prioritize health.
“Oil wells are everywhere, from my neighborhood in northern England to the backyard of my patients,” Mitchell said. “We must give priority to our neighbors. This is basic. ”
Supervisor Janis Han praised the plan as “a framework for the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and for bringing our energy partners with us.”
But Han, for her part, said she was worried about how the plan would work, as staff were pushing to get involved.
Superintendent Katherine Barger echoed those concerns by saying that she wanted to make sure there was enough time to transfer workers to a new job.
Mitchell said on Tuesday that she had called workers’ representatives.
“We’ve heard from staff, and we’ve included most of their improvements,” he told a co-worker.
Co-ordinator of the movement, Sheila Quell, said the goal was to work with union leaders to pave the way for new “clean energy” jobs for oil and gas workers.
But Quell says it is also a matter of balance.
“I really care about people who work in the county. They are my… constituency. But you can’t say, ‘I have to keep everyone healthy in order to keep my job.’ “We do everything we can to make sure you have a good job, but not everyone gets sick. This is the only ‘fair transition’. ”
Giancarlo Rubio, along with the Valley Industry and Trade Association, was among those who opposed the policy.
“The proposal will have a negative impact on our local economy and put thousands of residents at risk,” he said, warning that it would cost billions. If you don’t hire California, if you don’t pay California taxes, or if you don’t care about our strict environmental regulations and our health care, shutting down oil and gas production will make us more dependent on foreign oil.
According to Barger, the county plans to close its gas and gas stations, but the board continues to support the much-needed housing development, which is dependent on natural gas.
Meeting member Isaac Brian called on the board to “do this work at the regional level,” but stressed the need to be cautious, as it would hurt about 30,000 oil workers.
Gav Gavin Newsom has called for a nationwide shutdown of oil production by 2045.
The Board has a number of recommendations ahead of its September 2020 work team to install and dispose of contaminated wells.
Related activities approved by the Board require the appointment of a consultant to assess the impact on the fossil fuels industry and to expand support for transition workers.