Environmental & Climate Justice

STAND-L.A. Celebrates LA County Vote to Phase Out Neighborhood Oil Drilling

January 31, 2023
By Andres Magaña

On January 24, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors formally approved an ordinance to end new oil and gas extraction activities and phase out existing oil drilling in unincorporated Los Angeles County. In a victory for a coalition of groups including STAND-L.A., an environmental justice coalition co-founded by Liberty Hill, the ordinance serves as an historic win for public health and climate advocates as the nation’s largest county phases out continued fossil fuel extraction.

A report by LA County last year found that there were 1,046 active wells, 637 idle wells and 2,731 abandoned wells within the region — most of them disproportionately located close to communities of color and lower-income levels.

At a press conference hosted by Supervisor Holly Mitchell, whose district includes the largest urban oil field in the country and who championed the ordinance, she emphasized that, "We are here today because communities impacted by oil drilling fought relentlessly for justice for their communities."

Supervisor Mitchell highlighted the significance of the vote explaining, “LA County has had a long history of oil and gas development coupled with poor land-use decisions and racist housing laws which has resulted in oil and gas operations occurring too close to the places that people live, work, play, and pray.” She continued, “but today we’re here to say we’re beginning a new chapter in LA County history, one in which environmental justice, health and our climate are priorities in our land-use decisions.” The Supervisor was joined by the County Directors of Public Health, Regional Planning and Sustainability to celebrate the breakthrough.

The vote comes a month after another historic win for environmental justice, as the City of Los Angeles passed a similar measure prohibiting new drilling and setting the directive to phase out oil drilling within the city limits. We applaud the decade-long effort by local residents and STAND-L.A. coalition members as they mobilized the community to protect the health and safety of Angelenos on the frontlines of urban oil extraction.

Learn more about our STAND-L.A. coalition partners and their environmental justice work, visit http://www.stand.la/.