Environmental & Climate Justice

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland Visits L.A.

February 28, 2022
By Antwone Roberts

Liberty Hill helps grassroots leaders make lasting change! This Liberty Hill Flashback is from a recent visit by Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, who joined our partners from Stand L.A. on the frontlines to understand how neighborhood oil drilling affects disadvantaged communities.

Secretary Haaland is the first Native American person to hold a U.S. cabinet position and the first Secretary of the Interior to join our partners from STAND L.A. for a local toxic tour to bear witness to the adverse health and safety impacts associated with neighborhood oil drilling, and the threat that idle and orphan oil wells pose to frontline communities.

The Secretary traveled to a stop in Wilmington, where she toured idle and orphaned oil wells and participated in an Environmental Justice roundtable to discuss the devastating and long-lasting effects of legacy pollution. The Secretary also discussed the new infrastructure law, which includes $4.7 billion for orphaned well site plugging, remediation, and restoration activities that will address longstanding risks of water contamination, seeping toxic chemicals, and noxious gas emissions.

Thanks to efforts like these, along with the work our partners at Stand L.A. have been doing for years, the L.A. City Council recently voted to put an end to the practice of poisoning our communities with toxic oil and gas drilling operations! This historic step forward has been nearly a decade in the making—all due to the tireless work of the countless organizers and activists who never gave up on their neighborhoods.

Read more about the victory.