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Los Angeles to ban all new oil wells and phase out existing ones

Environmental activists have argued that the operation of the wells primarily affects "black, Latinx, and other communities of color" who live near the oil wells.

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In a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles city council voted on Friday to ban new oil wells and phase out all existing ones, a move that signals the end of the city's long history with the petroleum industry.

The council voted 12-0 to immediately ban all new oil and gas extraction while giving all existing wells 20 years to cease production, the Los Angeles Times reported.



At a time when there is an increasing reliance on foreign oil from nefarious regimes, this announcement comes as a blow to the California Independent Petroleum Association, a trade group representing over 300 independent crude oil and natural gas producers, who have argued that the environmental consequences of oil production are minimal compared to that of the increased oil tanker traffic that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will see.

"The South Coast Air Quality Management District has identified oil tankers as one of the major sources of air pollution in the LA Basin," the group said in a letter to the city council, disputing claims of "detrimental health effects" from oil and gas drilling and production operations.

The ban will also put a massive dent in the city's finances, amounting to an estimated revenue loss of around $250 million.

Environmental activists have argued that the operation of the wells primarily affects "black, Latinx, and other communities of color" who live near the oil wells.

"Our city and this council must own up to the anti-Blackness that created policies that allowed oil drilling in neighborhoods in the first place," a group of community groups that spearheaded the law said.

Californians spent a decent amount of September under the threat of rolling blackouts and power shortage warnings while the state wrestled with a heat wave that caused energy demand to surpass an energy supply heavily reliant on renewable sources.

At several points, Californians were even told to avoid charging their electric cars, just days after announcing a ban on the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035.

The California Energy Commission has predicted widespread power outages in the state of California for the next five years at the minimum, all the while the state tries to push electric vehicles and shut down other sources of energy, actions that would further strain an aging power grid.
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