Last month, on January 24th, 2023, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors codified an ordinance that will prohibit new oil and gas extraction activities and phase out existing oil drilling in unincorporated Los Angeles County. This historic action, which does not address drilling in the Inglewood Oil Field, marks the first step toward ridding the nation’s most populous county of oil extraction that harms the health and safety of communities and the environment.
The vote comes after Culver City and the City of Los Angeles passed similar measures in 2021 and last year, respectively, and follows an initial vote by the Board of Supervisors to approve the ordinance last fall.
While this is a large and historic step – LA County is the first County to phase out existing oil drilling – there is still plenty of work to do. Sierra Club Clean Break, National Staff, coalition partners, and frontline communities will provide every possible support and encouragement to the County to ensure progress continues towards completion of the phase-out.
As part of this effort, this year the County is planning to amend the regulations overseeing the Inglewood Oil Field, the largest urban oil field in the country. LA County is also continuing its Just Transition Taskforce to create a model for providing a just and equitable transition for workers and for remediating LA’s former oil fields.
We will continue to work in co-governance with the County and in partnership with our coalition partners on a cost study, a transition task force, and the phase-out of the Inglewood Oil Field.
“This is a huge step forward for the public health and safety of our communities,” said Sierra Club Clean Break Committee Chair David Haake. “We look forward to seeing other cities, such as Long Beach follow in the County’s footsteps.”
“This is how we end the fossil fuel era: with people-powered campaigns, Sierra Club endorsed political leaders, strong coalition building, and the immense dedication of volunteers and staff,” said Sierra Club Director Meghan Sahli-Wells. “I’m incredibly proud that the work Sierra Club leaders and allies championed in Culver City has grown to inspire neighboring Los Angeles County and City. By voting to end all new drilling and phase out existing drilling, we have redefined what is politically possible. Communities burdened by the most dangerous and deadly polluting corporations are finally being heard. And while the road to achieving environmental justice is still long, these victories have created the deep transformational change our communities deserve, and we will continue to fight for.”
Learn more about our work fighting oil and gas locally or contact campaign organizer Nicole Levin to get involved.