Historic environmental justice victory to phase out oil and gas wells in LA
This spring, Zully Jaurez took a deeper dive into how frontline communities in Los Angeles, a city built on the world’s largest urban oil field, mobilized and ultimately won a ban on new oil drilling and begin phasing out existing wells in their city. She spoke with Wendy Miranda Arevalo, a community leader with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), and Wilmington resident about the victory and the ways it creates a policy model that prioritizes communities most impacted by pollution while shifting away from fossil fuel development into a just transition. Zully wrote about this historic victory in a blog post for the Just Solutions Collective. In the post, she writes:
In January 2022, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to draft an ordinance to prohibit all new oil and gas drilling and to phase out existing drilling operations throughout the City of Los Angeles. The vote will direct the City Planning Department to draft an ordinance declaring oil and gas extraction a non-conforming land use throughout Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City oil drilling phase-out motion language is available here as agenda item #24. The ordinance is to include:
- A study to determine the phase out-period.
- A plan to plug and remediate inactive wells.
- Direction to the City of Los Angeles to participate in the L.A. County's Just Transition Taskforce to ensure an equitable transition plan for impacted oil workers.
This victory was made possible by residents, community organizations, and health care practitioners that have organized for over a decade to protect the health of residents on the front lines of urban oil extraction. Together they formed the Standing Together Against Neighborhood Drilling -LA (STAND LA) coalition, in which Communities for a Better Environment is a founding member.