Perhaps you’ve heard of Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling – Los Angeles (STAND-LA). This group works to protect the community health and safety of Angelinos who live near oil and gas drilling sites. Proximity to oil and gas operations can compromise community health; STAND-LA seeks an ordinance to establish 2500 foot set backs separating oil and gas operations from sensitive uses such as schools, hospitals and homes.
STAND-LA’s proposed 2500 foot set back has received support from LA Council President Herb Wesson, and Council members Bonin, Cedillo, Harris-Dawson, Koretz, and Martinez.
If you live, work or attend school in Culver City, you too need to be concerned about our proximity to the largest contiguous urban oilfield in the country, the Inglewood Oilfield, 10% of which is within Culver City. Some of our Council members are in favor of negotiating with Sentinel Peak Resources (SPR), the Inglewood oilfield operator, putting Culver City’s oil ordinance process on hold.
I question the wisdom of trying to play ball with this industry. The individuals representing SPR are people, probably likeable people, but that isn’t really very reassuring to me, because our interests are widely divergent. SPR wants to protect its business interests; our community needs to protect our health and safety. Here are a few questions that if answered would clarify SPR’s relationship with our community: In the negotiations being conducted at this time, will the oil operator agree to 2500 foot set backs from sensitive areas? Will they agree to strive for a zero harmful emissions policy with independent audits? Will they agree to supply a surety bond of at least $1 billion to ensure our recovery if a disaster occurs on the oilfield, or to clean up leaks and improperly plugged wells?
If the answer is yes to these questions, then perhaps our Council members who are in favor of negotiating with SPR have found a compatible working group. If the company cannot comply with these and other assurances, then we really ought to get back on track with improving and completing our oil ordinance.