Dear Editor – Oil Production & Health Risks


Dear Editor,

On July 11th Culver City is having a special Council meeting to hear from us whether the City should keep honoring a request from the new owners of the oil field under our homes. To me the oil producers’ request boils down to their wanting to have a hand in writing Culver City’s oil and gas regulations. It seems like the proverbial fox wanting to make up the rules on how to protect the hen house.

Feels like the same game the County played on us a few years ago. County allowed the oil company to pay for and choose the EIR (environmental impact review) writers. Very faulty regulations were enacted. If you recall it cost Culver City over a million dollars in litigation. From the number of cancers and deaths of folks I know who live within the high risk areas near this “highly regulated” oil field* it would be fair to say the County’s CSD/oil field regulations do little to protect us. In fact they legitimate the ongoing oil & gas production putting us all in harm’s way – whether from risks to our health, threats to our safety, and the damage or destruction of our property.

We – you and I – can stop this! To do so you must show up at the July 11th Culver City Special Council meeting!

Two reasonable demands we must ask the City to make of the oil company:

1. A $1 billion surety bond that holds the oil company and its stakeholders responsible for probable cause (meaning the burden is on the oil company to prove they did not cause damages, not on the victims) in the case of any oil or gas related “event.” This is the term oil folks use for oil & gas related leaks, explosions, death or damages. Note that the amount of this bond may be inadequate to cover today’s Culver City property values in the event of a major catastrophe.

2. Underground maps showing where the oil company is maintaining, cleaning, extending or drilling vertically, laterally or in any direction under Culver City. This data required by DOGGR must be made publicly available in 3D underground real time monitoring, providing data regarding seismic activity, uplift and subsidence with ongoing and ease-of-use access to all areas of the Inglewood Oil Field, especially all that lies under & adjacent to Culver City. This will help allow us to know of any gas leaks or activity that may be causing damage to our health or properties.

We must ask the City Council to make these two demands of the oil company to assess if they are operating in good faith. Also, that if these two conditions are not met the City will not proceed with further discussions.

The manner in which the current Culver City Council members respond to our requests will show you where he or she stands. Will each member demand that our health & safety be prioritized over corporate profits or threats of lawsuits?

It was a great moment in Culver City’s history when all five Council members: Weissman, O’Leary, Cooper, Clarke and Sahli-Wells voted in unison to protect us from the County’s faulty oil field regulations.

In this Culver City’s centennial year, will Councilmen Jim Clarke, Goran Eriksson and Thomas Small (as too Jeff Cooper and Meghan Sahli-Wells who have continually shown their loyalty to prioritizing our Health over Corporate Wealth), will all five current Council members stand united with all of us to put our common needs before private interests? Let’s all show up and ask Mayor Cooper, Vice Mayor Small, and Council members Clarke, Eriksson, and Sahli-Wells to show us by their vote on July 11th, to whom they owe their loyalties.


Dr Suzanne De Benedittis, PhD

* Sad to note that a remarkable Culver City citizen, Scott Wyant recently passed away from battling brain cancer for 13 months. In the Baldwin Hills EIR section “Public Health Risk” it explicitly states that for us living here, this risk is “600-800 excess cases per million individuals exposed” It continues on stating that these 600-800 excess cases “are considerably higher than levels that are considered acceptable, which are approximately 10 excess cases per million individuals exposed.” Wow!!!

In the same EIR map 4.2-5 on “Air Quality ” you can see the toxic air zones enveloping very large portions of Culver City. The map uses the euphemism “exceed odor threshold” to describe the toxic odors linked to significant health risks within ½ mile of oil or gas production, as per SB4 State of CA taxpayer mandated study: .

The Actors' Gang

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.