We have an important opportunity to end a longstanding injustice by giving South Los Angeles communities the same protections from oil drilling provided to wealthier communities for decades.
The Murphy drill site is located in South LA, on a busy street just steps from homes and schools, including high-rise housing for senior citizens, affordable housing, and a school for children with severe disabilities.
The Murphy drill site is emblematic of the constant and nearly endless barrage of dangers that urban oil drilling poses to nearby communities. Impacted residents documented over a dozen outrageous and illegal actions at the drill site over the past year, including seven days of unpermitted acid jobs, where tanker trucks brought thousands of gallons of acid into the community and pumped it into the ground. Exposure to these acids poses the risk of long-term health impacts, including irreversible lung damage, to surrounding residents.
The City of Los Angeles’ regulatory oversight of oil drilling is plagued by racism and inequity. Systemic racism is so entrenched into the City’s regulatory oversight that even the most basic and essential regulatory rules don’t seem to apply to South LA communities. For example, drill sites in wealthier, whiter, West LA neighborhoods are enclosed. South LA drill sites are wide open, leaving neighbors to deal with constant noise, petroleum odors, and toxic fumes.
Despite big announcements from Governor Newsom and Los Angeles leaders about some initial steps to stop new urban oil drilling, there has been no concrete action to help frontline communities already devastated by oil drilling.
Tell the City it’s time to right past wrongs and demand that our city officials enforce the rules equitably and provide the same basic protections to every community.