Los Angeles has officially banned the start of new oil wells within the city, resulting in further stress on the city’s reliance on foreign sources of oil.
This past Friday, the City Council of Los Angeles held a vote which highlighted that the entire council stood in favor of getting rid of oil drilling in Los Angeles. They officially chose to greenlit the measure to block the extraction process of any new gas or oil. The vote for the measure skated through without a single vote against it — 12-o.
The city is slated to cut all operations that are already running “after a 20-year amortization period,” as expressed in a fact sheet released by the council.
“This may be the most important step towards environmental justice that this council has taken in recent memory,” expressed Paul Krekorian, the President of the Council.
This past October, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors also showed their support for a similar measure. Back in January, the whole City Council stood together to vote in favor of pushing through a resolution after the county chose to vote to get rid of gas and oil drilling this past year.
While some have called for an end to all oil drilling in Los Angeles, there is also quite a bit of worry about the possible loss of employment opportunities and result in a spike in the price of gasoline.
“What happens very often is the profiteers of the oil and gas companies will use their mistreated workforce as a way to try to push back on policymakers,” Krekorian claimed throughout a briefing. “They will try to use a fake, false untruthful argument about impacts on gasoline prices.” he also stated that the time of oil and gas production was at an end either way.
One of the companies that host a series of oil wells in the area, Warren Resources, notably stood against the measure.
As part of a release, President James A. Watt explained that the company currently plans to “use all available legal resources to protect our major investment from this unlawful taking” and stated that pollution coming from its own work was “on par with that of a fast-food restaurant.”
“Warren has demonstrated to the City Council and all other regulatory authorities that we are not an environmentally significant pollution source for the community,” stated Watt.
The results of the vote also seem to have longstanding international consequences as well.
One spokesman for the California Independent Petroleum Association, Hector Barajas, explained that the most recent measure makes it so that roughly 2.5 million barrels of oil created by the city just last year would now have to be imported from international sources such as Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
“Our in-state oil is the only California climate-compliant oil in the world, given that oil producers must adhere to the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program and account for all emissions,” highlighted Barajas. “Foreign oil imports are totally exempt from those requirements.”