Oct 10 2012
If you ask most Angelenos whether the notorious practice of “fracking” is taking place in their city, they would probably say no. And yet, in the Inglewood Oil Fields of LA County, the nation’s largest urban oil field covering over one thousand acres of land is being fracked. A company called PXP or Plains Exploration and Production has been fracking in Inglewood since as far back as 2004.
The process of fracking involves injecting a mixture of water, chemicals and sand into existing oil wells in order to more easily extract oil. The method is often used to remove oil from difficult locations like shale rock formations. Two thirds of the country’s shale formations are in California.
Inglewood’s 300,000 residents, 2/3rds of whom are non-white, live within a three mile radius of the oil fields and were completely unaware of the fracking until an accident released toxic fumes into the area in 2006 and forced the community to evacuate.
The evacuation galvanized residents to file a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles to better enforce existing regulations. The lawsuit, which was finally settled this past year, required PXP to do a full study of the effects of fracking. The study, which PXP did with its own hired investigator, was just released today and, unsurprisingly, found that there would be no environmental harm done to the Inglewood area by fracking.
Meanwhile, PXP still conducts fracking tests with no oversight from the State government as California law does not require oil companies to disclose any information about their fracking activities and regulators can only rely on data voluntarily generated by the companies themselves.
Major concerns have been raised by opponents of fracking, including contaminated drinking water from toxic fracking chemical residue, the use of millions of gallons of water to do the fracking and, studies which are now finding an increase in the number of earthquakes related to fracking. While California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources reports that fracking is not a widespread phenomenon in the State, Environmental Working Group says that hydraulic fracturing has taken place in Kern, Los Angeles, Monterey, Sacramento, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and the number of wells could be in the thousands.
GUESTS: Paul Ferrazzi is the founder of Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community
Details of the meeting mentioned in the interview:
FOURTH ANNUAL BALDWIN HILLS CSD ANNUAL MEETING
MONDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2012 6:30 PM
Knox Presbyterian Church
5840 La Tijera Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90056