On Friday 28, 2014, Los Angeles took a stance against corporate oil and natural gas companies. Residents, activists, and decision makers met in Los Angeles City Hall to pass a moratorium, which would ban hydraulic fracturing and other conventional methods of coaxing oil and gas from wells until the state and federal government adopt adequate environmental and health regulations.
Hydraulic fracturing is a well stimulation process to enhance natural gas and oil extraction. This requires injecting thousands of gallons of water, chemicals, and lubricants to fracture shale rock. There are up to 600 chemicals used in "fracking fluid" including known carcinogens and toxins such as lead, uranium, mercury, and radium.
As Dechert discusses, "By passing it [the moratorium], the council has officially recognized hydraulic fracturing has not been proven safe or healthy." For instance, LA's Councilman Paul Koretz stood in strong support of the public outrage organizing against hydraulic fracturing in South LA. His powerful message touched on the welfare of the environment and the people living in it.
Councilman Koretz exclaimed, "Until these radical methods of oil and gas extraction are at the very last covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act, until chemicals are disclosed and problems are honestly reported, until we're safe from earthquakes, until our atmosphere is safe from methane leaks, we need a fracking moratorium."
Reyes (2014) notes that Oil and gas companies objected to these declarations by citing the results of a yearlong study conducted by the Inglewood Oil Field, "which found that hydraulic fracturing had no effect on the environment or the people living nearby." However, residents argued that this study did not assess long term risks of hydrofracturing (Reyes. LA Times).
A group of LA residents and environmental activists, AKA CoWatching Oil LA, is pushing for more transparency and healthier practices in LA's natural gas and oil industries. In a larger scale, concerned residents and activists are mobilizing statewide on Saturday, March 15, 2014, and coming together in Sacramento to demand an end to fracking in our state!