Fracking Los Angeles: What Life Is Like on the Country's Biggest Urban Oilfield
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SA: That was the beginning of Citizens Coalition. So, how did that go, and what other kinds of suits are you in? What are you dealing with?
GG: It was a long process. It was a very tough, tough battle, because not only were we suing the county over these regulations, but the oil proprietor, too, PXP --Plains Exploration. We did end up with some better regulations out of it. I can't talk on the specifics of it because of the terms of the settlement agreement. But as things go in general, things can always be better, too. But, for what we had to work with, I think we are better off, but there are other issues that still need to be dealt with, and that is where property damage is happening to the community here.
We have millions of dollars' worth of damage between the uplift and subsidence of the hills surrounding the oil field, because the way for them to get the oil out is, they pump millions of gallons of water into the ground to push the oil from one direction to the other, to suck it up, and in doing so the hills are going up and down, shifting on all these faults and fractures throughout the hills here, and you just have to walk through the streets here and see the cracked foundations and the curbs and the homes, and the streets. Water main breaks are happening in pretty much a regular occurrence. And, I'm going to say this, so are the hearts of the people here, because what they thought, they were in a safe community, is being broken apart.
SA: As you're talking about this fracturing of a community that happens in the sacrifice zones of fracking for oil and gas, so when is it that you found out that they were fracking these oil fields, and what's the situation with that now? And I know we're coming up to a June 12th meeting, so if we can talk about, what is this meeting about? How does it connect to regulations you're referring to? And you're talking about the broken hearts of a community. I would imagine there's also fear, anger and upset because so much is not known. So, where do you stand right now with what has been happening with fracking? Because many people find it hard to believe, it's shocking, that they are already fracking in Los Angeles.
GG: Well, I think one of the real concerns is that not everybody does know, and that's a problem. I think if more people really knew that this was actually going on in their back yard, that there'd be a lot more outrage. And so, that's why I'm grateful for this segment going out, to let people know that they really need to look out beyond their window and see what's happening below their feet, because this is where it's actually happening -- it's below their feet. And they say, "Well, it's not my community either," but it actually is. We're all interconnected. Nobody really wants to live next door to a broken-down house either, and if you're going to deal that in larger bases of broken-down communities, you're going to get a lot more blight surrounding the oil fields, and the state. And this is a real concern with the communities here.
I mean, right now, I would have difficulty selling my home where I'm living because of the increased cancer risks, and also with the homes breaking apart. I mean, how are you going to sell a home like that? I would not buy my house knowing what I know now.