Los Angeles is primed to become the first oil-producing city in California and the largest city in the United States to place a moratorium on fracking.
The Los Angeles city council unanimously voted Friday on a draft ordinance that prohibits "well stimulation" by hydraulic fracturing, acidizing and other controversial oil and gas drilling methods.
"Until these radical methods of oil and gas extraction are at the very least covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act, until chemicals are disclosed and problems are honestly reported, until we're safe from earthquakes, until our atmosphere is safe from methane leaks, we need a fracking moratorium," Councilman Paul Koretz, who introduced the motion along with Councilmember Mike Bonin, told a cheering crowd before the meeting.
As is the case all over the United States, drilling in Los Angeles largely affects minority populations since most extraction occurs in Latino- and African American-dominated neighborhoods
“Today is the beginning of justice for all Los Angeles communities facing these wells,” said Monic Uriarte, a resident of the Esperanza Community Housing Corporation—whose campaign People Not Pozos bussed 50 residents to City Hall for the vote.
“For years, the University Park neighborhood has been assaulted by Allenco Energy Corporation’s toxic emissions from their oil extraction activities. We were getting sick from the emissions, with health symptoms including spontaneous nose bleeding, headaches, asthma, and much more. No one should live in the shadow of an oil well,” Uriarte continued.
The moratorium motion now goes before the city attorney’s office to be written as a zoning ordinance and will then return to council for a final vote.