Update: Fracking controversy in Inglewood

The oil fracking method that is being used in the Inglewood oil field has been the source of controversy for the past few years.

South L.A. residents are finally seeing some government response to their concerns over fracking in Inglewood.

The oil fracking method that is being used in the Inglewood oil field has been the source of controversy for the past few years. Hydraulic Fracturing, or better known simply as fracking, is a drilling practice involving the pumping of immense quantities of water, chemicals and sand into the ground at very high pressure to break or fissure rock formations in the hope to access hidden pockets of oil and gas.  The Inglewood Oil Field sits between Culver City, Inglewood and Baldwin Hills — a community of 300,000 people — and at 1,100 acres it is the largest urban oil field in the country.

Residents and various community organizations have voiced concern for several issues with the fracking in their communities. These concerns include possible environmental, health and seismic effects. Plains Exploration and Production Co., the owner and operator of the oil field, is drilling near the Newport-Inglewood Fault line. Other concerns include the impact the fracking will have on their families and communities such as endangering ground and drinking water, toxic chemical dispersion into the soil and the air, and disruption of the Newport-Inglewood fault line which could lead to major earthquakes or landslides.

On Aug. 2 the California Assembly Member Holly J. Mitchell, Chair of the California Assembly Legislative Black Caucus was interviewed by The Hutchinson Report on KTYM AM where she stated support for the wind-down of the Inglewood Oil Field and said she will fight on the side of neighborhood residents who seek to protect the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

Mitchell is not the only government official responding to residents’ concerns.  Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Ca) presented an amendment for the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill in early July of 2013 that called no federal finds to be used to “implement, administer or enforce” fracking in the Inglewood Oil Field.

Though the House voted down the amendment later on in the day Bass remained optimistic. According to Culver City Patch, she said “these concerns are justified and the people of Los Angeles and Culver City are entitled to an extensive, long-term and transparent assessment of fracking operations at the Inglewood Oil Fields. Ensuring the health and safety of our constituents should be a top priority.  I am proud to amplify the concerns of my community with this amendment and will continue working with local leaders across Los Angeles and Culver City to address the fracking concerns of constituents.”

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