Feb 15, 2016
A year ago, South Los Angeles residents explained to the city officials that the oil drilling site, located in their neighborhood on Jefferson Boulevard, released gases that caused foul smells, emitted thunderous noise and was the source of other environmental problems.
This site is operated by Freeport-McMoRan, which is one of the world’s largest copper and gold producers and also has oil and gas operations.
The residents wanted the city to impose stricter conditions on the company to protect their neighborhoods, including enclosing the drilling equipment in a building.
The city did nothing to intervene in the operations of the multi-billion dollar Freeport. Just as it did nothing to intervene in the field at Porter Ranch – until disaster hit.
The on-going natural gas leak from the field located at Porter Ranch is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are large oil fields all in and around the metropolitan Los Angeles area. The companies have roughly 1,000 active wells, scattered across the city, extracting oil and gas. Many of these active wells are located near homes and schools. And these wells occasionally cause toxic leaks, like the one on Jefferson, affecting Los Angeles residents’ health.
Oil and natural gas are very profitable raw materials contributing to the riches of huge, billion-dollar companies. The City of Los Angeles is compliant with these companies and their dollars – not with regulations signed on a worthless piece of paper.