Creative Commons, 2013.

Los Angeles considers bold step towards restricting oil development

May 2, 2017

Los Angeles considers bold step towards restricting oil development

Los Angeles is the largest and most densely populated urban oil field in the nation. In recent years, with easy-to-access oil deposits largely tapped out, “extreme” energy extraction technologies and methods that use thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals for well-stimulation are being used across the region—many of them in densely populated, urban neighborhoods.  The City of LA hosts more than 900 active oil wells, with over 77% located within 2,500 feet of a home or sensitive land use such as a school, park, or hospital. 

More than half of the new and active wells are in low-income Latino and African-American neighborhoods already overburdened by environmental hazards, such as Wilmington and South Los Angeles. Residents from these neighborhoods have documented serious health problems—including nosebleeds, increased asthma, dizziness and heart palpitations—in addition to daily disruption from drilling vibrations, diesel truck traffic, and cracked sidewalks and home foundations.  In addition, oil drilling operations contribute to climate change due to leaking methane and other emissions.

Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling Los Angeles (STAND-LA) is a coalition of community-based and advocacy organizations working to prohibit urban oil drilling in close proximity to sensitive land uses and to support environmental justice (EJ) neighborhoods to restrict and shut down local drill sites by highlighting negative health, safety, and climate impacts.  STAND-LA is dedicated to winning a prohibition of future and current oil drilling within a 2,500-foot radius (or “buffer zone”) of sensitive land use.

Recently, thanks to the tireless hard work of LDF partners STAND LA and Liberty Hill Foundation, city council president Herb Wesson introduced a motion calling for a study of what it would take to shut down all oil and gas wells near homes, schools, hospitals, parks and other public places.  Wesson’s study will look at the feasibility of creating a buffer zone, or setback, around places where people live and gather. Inside the buffer zone, no oil development and production would be allowed.


Morgan Moore
Director, California Program

Related News

Grantee spotlight: Oceans 5

LDF grantee Oceans 5, an international funder’s collaborative dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and constraining overfishing, has undertaken numerous projects to implement marine protected areas throughout the world.

National monuments under attack: An unprecedented threat to our national heritage

Bears Ears National Monument, a Utah landscape sacred to numerous Native American tribes,  is under threat after President Trump issued an executive order calling for a review of national monuments designated since 1996.  LDF grantee Utah Dine Bikeyah and the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition have joined forces to send a strong message to Interior Secretary Zinke: protect this sacred land.

LDF featured at CERES Conference

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation was featured at the recent CERES Conference hosted in San Francisco. Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, was invited to present and discuss sustainable, climate-friendly investing to a diverse crowd of stakeholders. CERES believes that good governance, transparency, stakeholder engagement and bottom line performance are all hallmarks of a… View Article

Project Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan to reverse global warming

On April 17th, Project Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming was released. The book, edited by Paul Hawkin, is the culmination of two years of research and collaboration to present the best available information on climate solutions.

LDF Grantee Spotlight: Our Children’s Trust

LDF is proud to support Our Children’s Trust (OCT), who represented 21 youth in a historic lawsuit arguing that the Federal Government is not only violating the youth’s fundamental right to life, liberty, and property but also the Public Trust Doctrine, by knowingly engaging in actions that create a dangerous climate situation.