Lawsuit Challenges L.A. Oil Drilling Ban

Oil companies with operations in the city of Los Angeles are suing over an ordinance that seeks to phase out drilling within city limits due to public health and environmental concerns.

1 minute read

January 12, 2023, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Oil Pump in Los Angeles

Oil drilling in central Los Angeles, California. | Sergey Novikov / Shutterstock

“An oil company with a drilling operation in Wilmington filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the city of Los Angeles over a sweeping new law that will phase out oil production,” reports Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times. 

“The city’s ban will lead to more oil imports, causing increased emissions from trucks and oil tankers that arrive to the L.A. area, according to the lawsuit. “The lawsuit contends the city’s actions are a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act, the city’s General Plan and the state and federal constitutions. The suit also questions the city’s analysis of the health impacts of conducting plugging and abandonment operations.” The company claims that “its operations are ‘100% electric’ and the emissions ‘are the equivalent of a physically much smaller fast-food restaurant with a drive thru.’”

A separate lawsuit alleging similar claims was filed by four other oil entities, Smith notes.

Environmental justice advocates praised the city’s plan to phase out oil production, citing evidence that oil operations near residential areas can cause cancer, asthma, and other health problems. The ordinance was adopted unanimously by the city council last month.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 in Los Angeles Times

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21 - The Architect's Newspaper

Close-up of back windshield of Waymo autonomous car.

NHTSA Launches Investigations Into Two More Self-Driving Automakers

The federal agency is responding to reports of crashes and erratic behavior from Waymo and Zoox vehicles.

May 21 - Smart Cities Dive

Texas Townhomes

Austin Reduces Minimum Lot Size

Smaller lot sizes for single-family homes can make construction more affordable and homeownership available to more households.

May 21 - The Texas Tribune

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.