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Fracking Los Angeles: What Life Is Like on the Country's Biggest Urban Oilfield

Unregulated fracking is happening in Los Angeles communities and residents are taking action and raising their voices in protest.

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Sally Hampton has lived in Baldwin Hills for 31 years. I asked her how living adjacent to the oilfield is impacting her life? She said, "Smelling pollution from the oil fields is stressful because you don't know what is going into your lungs. Too many of my neighbors have gotten cancers and lung problems. Many have died. My own husband was diagnosed with cancer last year and I have had chronic health problems the last 8-10 years. I have come not to trust my regulators to properly regulate the oil and gas industry."  

Deborah Attoinese, a Village Green resident, another neighborhood in close proximity to the Inglewood Oil Field says, "Waking up to this nightmare in the last few weeks, which is a sobering reality, I had no choice but to get involved." She made this Stop Fracking Los Angeles video for a June 12th Culver City Protest and meeting.  

On June 12th a Ban Fracking Now Protest will take place in front of the Culver City Hall (9770 Culver Blvd) at 5:30 pm followed by the DOGGR Hydraulic Fracturing Workshop and public comment session about "regulating" fracking. CCSC, Food and Water Watch, Grassroots Coalition, Environment Now, Neighborhood Council Empowerment Congress West, and 50,000 Californians support a ban.

Sarbina Artel: There is fracking in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California. Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community (CCSC) is a volunteer citizens organization that was formed in 2008 to deal with the many issues of those living adjacent to the Inglewood Oil Field. Gary Gless is one of the founders of CCSC.

Gary, thank you so much for talking to me. So, I want to talk to you about where you live on the Baldwin Hills/Inglewood Oil Field, which is the largest urban contiguous oil field in the country. I'm wondering if you could talk to me about living adjacent to them, and what your concerns are, share with us why you formed the volunteer grassroots organization Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community (CCSC)?

Gary Gless: I live in Windsor Hills. I've been a long-time resident here. The concerns started back when the oil operator, PXP, at the time was Stocker Resources, did their expansion of the oil field, and a lot of the community members, they were hearing the noises and vibrations in their home. The more we found out about what was going on, more bells went off into what's happening to our community here.

SA: What's the connection between this meeting on June 12th and this study that involves fracking on the oil field in this neighborhood? But also, what are we looking at? When will the green light be given again, officially, to continue with fracking?

GG: The meeting on June 12th is because DOGGR, the agency that oversees oil production, and which happens to be 100% financed by the oil company, they had no requirements to monitor or know of where any of these frack jobs were going. So, fracking was happening all up and down California, and they didn't even know where or even had to have any requirements for the oil operators to notify them that they were putting these chemicals into the ground. This fracking study that's going on basically is input from the community that they want to say, "Well, what are your concerns?" Well, there's a slew of concerns on this. You're using cancer causers, bring them into our community, then you're injecting them in the ground, you're using high volumes of water ... the potential risks of earthquakes, all this.

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