Politics Los Angeles County supervisors vote to end oil, gas drilling
California settles climate lawsuit with fossil fuel giant SoCalGas
The Sempra Energy subsidiary is a powerful opponent of efforts to eliminate natural gas.Southern California Gas Co. and the California Energy Commission agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the Los Angeles-based utility company. SoCalGas had claimed state officials were flouting a law requiring them to consider the benefits of natural gas — one of the fossil fuels responsible for the worsening fires, floods and heat waves of the climate crisis.
Los Angeles County's board of supervisors on Wednesday5-0 to end new oil and gas drilling and phase out existing drilling infrastructure, potentially closing nearly 2,000 sites.
The unincorporated L.A. County area contains some 1,600 active and idle wells, according to the motion. Most of these are part of the Inglewood Oil Field, the biggest urban oilfield in the U.S.
The motion specifically cites community health problems associated with proximity to oil drill sites. It points to a June study published in the journal Environmental Research, which found living near active or inactive oil wells in the county correlates with major reductions in both pulmonary and lung functions. Separately, it cites a 2018by the county Department of Public Health indicating these adverse effects can persist as far as 1,500 feet away.
Overnight Energy & Environment — Spotlight on solar
Welcome to Wednesday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Today we're looking at an Energy Department study on expanding solar power, new Biden administration decisions on drilling in the Arctic and the latest research on averting catastrophic warming.For The Hill, we're Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with tips: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.Let's jump in.
In the motion, Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Sheila Kuehl pointed to the outsized impacts on people of color as a result of these health issues. Of those residents living in close proximity to an active or dormant oil well in the county, 73 percent are people of color, according to the motion. The Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw area, the location of the Inglewood Oil Field, is nearly three-quarters Black, according to anby The Los Angeles Times.
"In addition to this equity issue, which should concern all of us, oil and gas drilling is contributing to the climate crisis, which we are collectively bearing witness to every single day," Mitchell, who represents an area that includes the oil field,the Times.
In a separate motion, the board voted to analyze whether each drill site has recouped costs; local regulations bar shutting an existing well down before the costs have been recouped, according to the newspaper.
Daily on Energy: House Democrats take on natural gas
Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Default Image - July 2021 HOUSE DEMOCRATS VS. NATURAL GAS: House Democrats have decided to keep natural gas out of the “Clean Electricity Payment Program,” the centerpiece climate policy of their reconciliation package, delivering a big win for environmental activists.
STAND-LA, a community organization dedicated to ending drilling in the city, praised the vote and called on the Los Angeles City Council to follow suit.
Thank you- STAND-LA (@STAND_LA) for your part in this UNANIMOUS victory! We hope also passes the LA City oil phase out motion to protect the health and safety of all LA residents
Gas crisis leaves Europe searching for solutions .
Consumers face a steep rise in energy bills as governments try to fund the move to renewable energy. Here, five correspondents explain how different countries are responding.Spain acts to curb record energy bills © BBC Consumers' bills have spiralled here in recent months, with the cost of electricity increasing 35% over the last year and nearly 8% in August alone.Energy prices in Spain are closely tied to the wholesale gas market, so the price per megawatt hour for consumers has repeatedly hit new highs recently.