"BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Community and environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging Kern County’s adoption of an ordinance that would allow tens of thousands of new oil wells over the next 15 years.
Adopted unanimously Monday by the Kern County Board of Supervisors, the ordinance allows for roughly 40,000 new oil and gas wells by 2036. The lawsuit petitioners, including the Committee for a Better Arvin, Committee for a Better Shafter, Comité Progreso de Lamont, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and Center for Biological Diversity, are hoping to reverse the decision.
“This ordinance is a disaster for public health in Kern County, particularly for low-income communities and Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other communities of color that live next to oil wells and are already harmed daily by fossil fuel pollution,” said Chelsea Tu, senior attorney at the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, which represents the Committee for a Better Arvin, Committee for a Better Shafter, and Comité Progreso de Lamont in the lawsuit. “Kern communities are bringing this lawsuit in order to protect their families because the county has failed to do so.”"