The Westside Urban Forum will return to in-person events with the upcoming program ‘Extract No More: Phasing Out Oil Drilling in Greater Los Angeles’ on Thursday July 28 at 8:30 am at the Helms Design Center in Culver City.
Oil was first discovered in Los Angeles in 1892, and by the 1920s helped propel California to become the leading oil producer in the United States, accounting for one-quarter of the world’s petroleum output. Alongside real estate, aerospace, and film, the petroleum industry enabled the rapid growth and development of our region. To this day, visitors to Los Angeles International Airport are greeted by the pumpjacks of the Baldwin Hills Oil Field, with many others hidden behind illusory facades.
Oil and gas is no longer the regional economic megalith it once was, but it has straddled Los Angeles with a harmful and unintended consequence: the nation’s largest urban oil field. There are 68 active oil fields in the Los Angeles Basin, and more than 20,000 active, idle, or abandoned oil wells scattered throughout our densely populated urban fabric, many of them within close proximity of homes, schools, parks, and other sensitive land uses. They pose acute risks to human and environmental health via air pollution as well as water and soil contamination, and they disproportionately impact historically Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
After ten years of community organizing and advocacy by environmental justice groups, including the STAND-L.A. coalition, the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles have committed to phasing out urban oil wells. While it is relatively easy to prevent new wells through land use action, how to close, cap, and remediate the existing and abandoned wells – and how such efforts will be paid for – is a more complicated affair. Additionally, there is the consideration of the jobs that will be displaced and what opportunities exist in a “Just Transition” to a clean energy economy.
On July 28, join the Westside Urban Forum for a panel discussion as we consider how Greater Los Angeles will transition away from fossil fuel extraction, and how these brownfields may be reclaimed for regenerative new land uses.
David McNeill, Executive Officer, Baldwin Hills Conservancy
Nicole Levin, Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign Representative, Sierra Club
Additional panelists to be announced.
Please note our new day and time!
Thursday July 28, 2022
8:30 am – 9:30 am PST
Helms Design Center
Doors open at 7:45 for breakfast and mingling before the panel begins
RSVP Required – Go to westsideurbanforum.com