The LA County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Wednesday to ban new oil and gas drilling, and phrase out existing wells in the unincorporated parts of the county. More than 1,500 wells could be shut down as a result of the decision; the exact timeline will be determined at a later date. A petroleum industry representative, in a letter to the board, said the phaseout would threaten livelihoods, raise gas prices, and make the state dangerously dependent on oil from foreign countries. The board passed the motion 5-0 regardless.
The decision affects the Inglewood Oil Field, a 1,000 acre field in L.A. that produces two to three million barrels of oil a year. It lies alongside several communities populated largely by people of color—including Baldwin Hills, Ladera Heights, and View Park—where residents have worried about its health and environmental risks for at least a decade, as well as foul odors and potential spills. “So, for me, it really is an equity issue,” Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell told the Associated Press.