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Los Angeles County Passes Ban On New Oil And Gas Drilling

Los Angeles County has voted to ban new oil and gas drilling in the country, following a similar ban enacted by the City of Los Angeles last month. 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed unanimously the ordinance that bans new oil and gas well drilling and phases out existing wells. The ordinance will take effect in 30 days.  

Last month, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban new oil and gas drilling and agreed to phase out existing wells over the next 20 years.

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The ban of the city is already being challenged in court. Warren Resources, an oil firm with a drilling project in Wilmington has decided to sue the city over the ban. The company accuses the city council of failing to carry out the necessary environmental review over the potential impact of halting extraction. The lawsuit, filed in the L.A. Superior Court, states that the decision violates the California Environmental Quality Act, the city’s General Plan, and the state and federal constitutions. Warren has good reason to be unhappy about the ban, as it would mean the closure of all its operations, which are all located in Los Angeles.

Other firms, E&B Natural Resources Management Corporation and Hillcrest Beverly Oil Corp, are also suing the City of Los Angeles over the ordinance to ban new drilling and phase out existing operations.

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Now the ban is extended to Los Angeles County with this week’s ordinance.

“We can’t afford to make the same mistakes of the past,” LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell said at a briefing carried by Bloomberg. “That’s why our county is committed to developing an equitable and data-informed approach to phasing out oil drilling as we know it.”

Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling, or STAND-L.A., rejoiced at the decision, which makes Los Angeles the first county in the U.S. to phase out oil drilling.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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