The Los Angeles City Council has voted to ban new oil and gas drilling and also phase out existing wells over the next 20 years, after years of complaints by residents about how pollution from nearby drilling has caused them health issues.
In a Friday vote, the council unanimously approved an ordinance it began drafting earlier this year that will immediately ban new extraction and close down 26 existing oil and gas fields, as well as more than 5,000 active and idle wells in LA, as reported by CNBC.
The oil industry has defended drilling in the state, saying that by phasing out production, the council will make California more dependent on foreign energy.
Hector Barajas, a spokesman for the California Independent Petroleum Association, which represents independent oil and gas producers in the state, said that 2.5 million barrels of oil were produced by the city last year. The U.S. as a whole currently produces over 12 million barrels per day, according to CNBC.
With the council voting to phase out in-state production, Barajas said that they would now have to import their oil from Saudi Arabia, Ecuador and Iraq.
“Our in-state oil is the only California climate-compliant oil in the world, given that oil producers must adhere to the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program and account for all emissions,” Barajas said. “Foreign oil imports are totally exempt from those requirements.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KTLA.COM
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