An idle well fee program is masking vast cleanup costs while harming residents and the climate. A new California law just signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom aims to close loopholes that have allowed oil drillers to walk away from wells that are no longer profitable but remain harmful.
The Murphy Site, which taps the La Cienegas Oil Field, is located in Jefferson Park, a neighborhood composed mostly of Black and Latino residents. Those living near the site display "significantly higher prevalence of wheezing, eye and nose irritation and dizziness" as well as reduced lung capacity. The site is not owned by an energy company, though, but by the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
A little-discussed section in President Biden’s groundbreaking executive order on climate aims high. For the first time in federal policy, it pairs the urgent issues of leaking greenhouse gases with the creation of new jobs for energy workers and people who live in heavily-polluted neighborhoods.