La County is moving to block oil wells in uncovered areas

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.

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