Tell LA County Supervisors: No Drilling Where We're Living
Los Angeles County is updating its oil well ordinance, which applies to most unincorporated areas of the county, for the first time in more than 40 years. The Oil Well Ordinance is a chance to bring us closer to the County’s goal of a just transition to a fossil-free Los Angeles County with better health for everyone. The current draft is a missed opportunity since it allows for more oil wells rather than fewer.
1. Phase out existing oil wells within 2,500 feet of our homes, schools, churches, parks, and other sensitive uses.
Scientific studies link exposure to oil and gas drilling to increased cases of asthma, cancer, and preterm births. These damaging health impacts affect communities of color and low-income communities disproportionately since oil and gas operations are more likely to be located close to these communities. Oil wells within a 2,500 feet buffer zone need to be phased out over an amortization period. The wells should be plugged and the surrounding areas cleaned-up.
2. Do not permit any new oil wells.
In light of the LA County Sustainability Plan goal of a fossil-free LA, it does not make sense to permit any new oil wells. The Sustainability Plan published in 2019 states: “By eliminating fossil fuel production in the County, including drilling, extraction, and refining, the County will protect its residents from harmful local pollution that inequitably burdens workers, low-income communities, and communities of color.”
3. Require oil operators to cover the costs of plugging and cleaning-up oil wells
We know that thousands of wells in California have been abandoned by oil operators who walk away rather than pay the cost of plugging and remediating their drilling sites. Now is the time to require substantial bonds to be put up by oil operators to ensure that the costs of plugging and cleaning-up active and idle oil wells do not fall upon the taxpayers.4. Take steps to enable more Angelenos to live car-free.
LA County must take action to make bicycling, buses, and other public transportation more affordable, safe, and accessible to all residents so that we can address the demand for oil as well as the supply.
Use the form on the right to send a letter to your Supervisor and the Department of Regional Planning.
For more information, visit the coalition fact sheet.