Calif. Oil Town Chose Oil-Tied Firm to Review Impacts of a Drilling Permit

"Signal Hill Petroleum spent millions to overturn California’s landmark law protecting neighborhoods from oil drilling. Now it wants to drill dozens of new wells in a city established a century ago to avoid taxes on oil development."

"On Tuesday, residents of a small Los Angeles County town came out in force to urge their city council to reject a California oil and gas company’s proposal to extend its neighborhood drilling operation permit for 20 years.

Community organizers, scientists, engineers, doctors, educators, homeowners and people whose families have lived for generations in Signal Hill spoke of babies born with asthma, neighbors with cancer and an “antidemocratic, disgusting and downright dangerous” plan to expand oil drilling on the heels of the hottest year on record.

“The International Panel on Climate Change has stated that we must urgently ramp down fossil fuel production in order to avoid the most extreme effects of climate change,” said Catherine Ronan of the Sierra Club’s Los Angeles chapter. “A proposed 20-year permit extension does the opposite,” a move she called unacceptable.

Signal Hill, long known as an oil town, straddles the Long Beach Oil Field at Los Angeles County’s southern tip. It was founded in 1924 to avoid zoning restrictions and a per-barrel tax passed by the surrounding city of Long Beach, three years after Shell Oil drilled a gusher on what was then a remote hilltop south of Los Angeles."

Liza Gross reports for Inside Climate News June 6, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 06/07/2024