The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Oil Fields of Los Angeles:
Toxic and Highly Profitable

Oct 14, 2013

The low-income residents living in downtown Los Angeles have been complaining for years about toxic fumes emitted from an oil field located next to their neighborhood. Allenco Energy operates this oil field on a land leased from the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

After Allenco started to extract oil, the residents began to smell a chemical odor on the streets and in their homes, and then started to have headaches, nose-bleeding and dizziness. The residents complained to state air quality officials 251 times within the last three years, and officials issued 15 citations against Allenco for foul odors. But, nothing changed.

The Los Angeles basin contains large deposits of oil. In the Los Angeles area alone, more than 3,700 derricks extract oil from about 55 active oil fields.

Oil production in this area and California dramatically increased over the years. Allenco increased production from the downtown field by more than 400%, from 4,178 barrels in 2009 to 21,239 in 2010, according to the State of California, as L.A. gas prices skyrocketed from 1.55 dollars per gallon in September 2004 to 3.92 dollars per gallon in September 2013.

So, this is capitalism at its best. Companies snatch oil deposited under Los Angeles and their owners cook out huge profits from this oil. At the same time, people of Los Angeles are poisoned by chemicals from derricks and robbed at the pump.