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The Story

Few people realize that Los Angeles was built on an oil field, and fewer understand how much urban oil extractions impact those who live next door.

Our #BadNeighbors series aims to change that. Last newsletter we told you about how the most vulnerable communities shoulder a disproportionate amount of the health burdens from oil wells. But there’s more to the story.

In our two new videos, we talked to kids from Wilmington about how living next door to an oil derrick damages their health. Then they told us about how they organized and fought back.

Watch, share, and spread the world. Check out our full #BadNeighbors series here.

Sample tweets:

  • Kids in Wilmington grow up next to #oilwells and carry the impacts with them forever. #BadNeighbors @StopFoolingCa

  • Wilmington has 1 #oilwell for every 9 people. Would you want your kids to live there? #BadNeighbors @StopFoolingCa*

  • Kids in Wilmington play in the shadow of #oilwells & have the asthma rates to prove it. #BadNeighbors @StopFoolingCa

  • In Wilmington, kids play sports next to oil drills with their asthma inhalers. #BadNeighbors @StopFoolingCa

  • These kids shoulder the health impacts of #oildrilling & #bigoil takes home the profit. #BadNeighbors @StopFoolingCa

  • Cancer risk from #airpollution is 60% higher in Wilmington than the rest of SoCal. #BadNeighbors @StopFoolingCa**


Sample tweets:

In The News

California is a climate change champion. But Big Oil has a strong, dirty legacy in our state, and they are still alive and well, polluting our air and our politics regularly and effectively. A new investigative piece shows that Big Oil has more of a grip on the Golden State than many may think. Here are some highlights:

  • In the past 6 years, Big Oil has spent more than $122 million on campaign contributions and lobbying, weakening regulatory agencies and boosting production. Overall, they’ve played a major role in shaping  California’s energy policy.
  • The oil industry has cultivated a new breed of Democrats: “moderate” lawmakers who are casting a critical eye on the state’s suite of climate-change policies. As a result, the industry saw a spike in production for the first time in nearly two decades, turned back legislative efforts to halve the state’s petroleum usage and overcame calls for a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

  • California’s oil and gas extraction record is pretty ugly. From DOGGR allowing companies to drill thousands of wells into federally protected aquifers to lax regulations that led to the massive Porter Ranch methane leak, California regulators have failed to stand up to the political and financial power of the oil and gas industry to the extent they need to.

  • Lobbyists have so much power in the California Legislature that insiders refer to them as the “third house.” Few groups have more influence than the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA).

  • With coastal cities fighting hard for strong climate policies, Big Oil targeted districts where energy firms operate, where even though pollution levels are high, voter turnout is low, and representatives are more easily influenced by special interest spending. Since 2012, the energy industry gave more than $12 million to campaigns and groups funding the so called “moderate democrats,” who then vote against climate change initiatives. This ultimately hurts their constituents, who must face the health implications of the pollution choking their communities.
* Source: Stand LA
**Source: Southern California Air Quality Management District Multiple Air Toxics Exposure III Study, 2008
***Source: Stand LA
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