Shut down oil wells in Culver City.
The oil fields in Culver City are a visual blight. It's odd to have oil fields inside a city proper. Do the oil fields provide funds for the city itself? Is there a way to reclaim this space for public use and remove oil fields from land areas that could be better used for other purposes like parkland, hiking, conservation, biking, etc.
We are writing in support of the proposed amortization of capital investment in oil and gas production facilities in the Inglewood Oil Field in Culver City. We agree with the Oil Subcommittee’s call to halt non-conforming oil and gas related uses through an amortization program; to fix the time frame for phasing out oil and gas activity; and to remediate the area beginning in January 2021 for the purposes of protect public health, the environment and the city’s economy. Previous and current operators—not the citizens of city of Culver City—should be held responsible for all costs of well plugging, abandonment, and remediation of the site. These tasks must be done with a living wage compensation for trained, unionized and, ideally, local workers.
Residents and workers in Culver City—your constituents and taxpayers--should no longer be exposed to the health hazards and property value losses of proximity to the largest urban drilling fields in the nation. The Culver City City Council properly put the health and well-being of its citizens, the environment, and social justice over the interests of fossil fuel companies in. We encourage its leadership as it develops a plan to phase out oil operations and remediate the Culver City portion of the IOF starting in January 2021 according to its Capital Investment Amortization Study.
Culver City has the legal right to phase out non-conforming use of its land through urban oil drilling in January 2021, as agreed in the contract with the oil operator, Sentinel Peak Resources. Closure of the few wells will damage SPR little, but will vastly benefit residents of Culver City by removing damages to public health (increased nose bleeds, headaches, eye irritation, risk of COVID-19, asthma and respiratory illnesses, preterm births and high-risk pregnancies, and cancer) and to property values.
In addition, closing and remediating the City’s portion of the wells would create new jobs, and must be covered by the oil and gas operators, and not the city or taxpayers.
Finally, we have the backing of Sierra Club and many local environmental groups who will look to Culver City as a beacon for ecological sense and social justice.
Dr. Alisa Reich
Professor Peter Reich, UCLA School of Law
California has always aimed to be a leader on environmental issues and Culver City should continue in that legacy. That is why I am writing in support of Culver City shutting down a portion of the oil field through amortization. Working class communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by the health effects of pollution as a result of fossil fuel activities. As a working class person of color, I've experienced some of these very same health effects as a result of environmental racism. If Culver City wants to stand in solidarity with its Black and brown constituents, it must close the city's portion of both active and inactive oil wells.
The discussion and negotiation period is over, fossil fuels has got to go. Stop betting on our children's future.
Please close the Inglewood Oil Fields. I live near by in the Oxford Triangle and suffer from Asthma. While the Playa Del Rey Field is closer, The Inglewood Field gasses do not know a limit to how far they travel. I know these gases are very harmful. The authorities also know. They just have to do the right thing.
Culver City is poised to make history in its effort to mitigate climate change and establish environmental justice. As a proud and humble new resident of Culver City and as representative of the entire Climate Reality Project Los Angeles Chapter, I strongly endorse passage of agenda item PH-1, the ordinance to phase out oil drilling and remediate all oil wells within Culver City. The issue has been thoroughly studied and a plan as well as timeline has been established to complete it. Only the crucial step of officially ordering its elimination and executing it remains.
Culver City has the opportunity to begin the monumental task of de-activating an oil field, ending oil and gas extraction within (it) and completing its restoration. This act can be the inaugural act that sets off the end of oil and gas extraction in Los Angeles, in California and elsewhere. There are health, environmental justice, economic, ecological and societal benefits associated with the phase-out.
• Health Benefits: Proximity to oil and gas wells is associated with heightened health risks, illnesses and mental health disorders. This action would severely reduce the prevalence of such dangers, risks and threats. This is especially important and relevant in the midst of the current pandemic.
• Establish Environmental Justice: A majority of BIPOC and low income communities reside within close proximity to these oil fields and oil fields in general due to institutionalized environmental racism and racist practices such as redlining.
• Economic Benefits: The closure of local oil fields will inevitably generate new opportunities, specifically the remediation of oil wells, land restoration and the establishment new power sources. These opportunities, therefore, represent a source of additional jobs short and long term.
• Ecological Benefits: The climate crisis is not abating. Therefore, an expeditious timeline for ending oil and gas extraction, subsequently plugging the wells and monitoring the transition should be implemented to begin reducing emissions that exacerbate climate change, reduce air quality and contaminate the soil and water.
• Societal Benefits: This ordinance could be used to make fossil fuel producers responsible for cleaning up the mess and reversing (some) of the damage done to the community. It is an opportunity to transform and remake Culver City into a modern, sustainable metropolis. It is an opportunity to allow disenfranchised members of the community to engage in the planning process. It is an opportunity to install renewable energy and storage instead of traditional fossil fuels, to establish beautiful green space and to facilitate the transition to a resilient, eco-city.
Culver City can begin removing urban oil fields from the landscape and catalyze the transition to renewable energy with this singular vote. The arc can only bend toward justice and the trajectory set towards a cleaner, greener future if we act, if we take such action. Allow community interests and environmental interests (which are one and the same) to govern policy and supplant corporate and industrial interests.
I am not alone in endorsing phasing out oil and gas extraction. I am not alone in asking the City Council to vote for phasing it out. Culver City could lead the way, demonstrate its feasibility and create a ripple effect inspiring further cities and regions to do the same. In doing so, millions of citizens will experience the enumerated benefits.