Oct 01, 2019

For years, activist groups like STAND-LA have repeatedly claimed that oil and gas operations in Los Angeles were causing negative health effects.

Despite unparalleled regulation and monitoring of air quality and emissions for every oil and gas operation in the region, these groups argued that production simply had to end immediately to keep residents healthy, calling oil operations in Los Angeles “a clear health and safety threat.”

The scientific reality, however, has turned out to be much different than the narrative pushed by STAND-LA.  As we have pointed out previously, several studies have shown that the overall health of residents who live near oil and gas operations is similar to the overall health of residents throughout Los Angeles County.

But now you don’t have to take our word for it.  A new report from the City of Los Angeles Office of Petroleum and Natural Gas Administration and Safety failed to find evidence of negative health effects caused by oil and gas operations. 

The new report states:

“There is a lack of empirical evidence correlating oil and gas operations within the City of Los Angeles to widespread negative health impacts.

The lack of evidence of public health impacts from oil and natural gas operations has been demonstrated locally in multiple studies by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles County Oil & Gas Strike Team, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the comprehensive Kern County Environmental Impact Report and Health Risk Assessment.”

In its discussion of the scientific record, the report explicitly dismisses “any public panic or belief in a widespread public health crisis.”

Energy policy in Los Angeles should be based on fact, not rhetoric.  STAND-LA should join reality and recognize that oil and gas operations are safe, well-regulated, and do not result in negative health effects for residents.