Fracking: Coming to a City or Suburb Near You

Fracking: Coming to a City or Suburb Near You by Jason Mark, June 1, 2012, Earth Island Journal
Located in an incorporated area between Culver City, Baldwin Hills and View Park, the 1,100-acre spread is the largest urban oil field in the US. More than one million people live within five miles of the hundreds of wells there. The field’s productivity had been on a steady decline until PXP started using fracking methods around 2003 to get at the estimated 50 percent of petroleum reserves that are inaccessible through more conventional drilling methods. The practice went mostly unnoticed by area neighbors until January 10, 2006 — when a fracking accident at the Inglewood field released a cloud of toxic fumes and forced the evacuation of some residents of Baldwin Hills and Culver City. Last year, residents settled a lawsuit with PXP that, among other things, calls for closer air monitoring, noise abatement, and a reduction of the total number of wells from 600 to 500 by 2028. But the settlement still allows for PXP to frack at least 30 new wells a year, and many neighbors remain nervous. One concerned resident is Paul Ferrazzi, a movie cameraman and Culver City resident who heads a group called Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community. … Ferrazzi has another worry that is an especially sensitive issue in California — “increased seismicity in a heavily faulted area.” A recent study has demonstrated a connection between fracking and minor earthquakes, and has fueled LA area residents’ concerns about how the Inglewood fracking could trigger a quake. … “What was once a very nice town, much quieter and more easy going than Dallas, has become an industrial town, and it’s driving people away in droves,” said Don Young, a life-long resident who founded a group called Fort Worth Citizens Against Neighborhood Drilling Ordinance. …  “Living in Fort Worth has become intolerable. This is a big, heavy industrial operation. There’s no nice way to do it. There’s no way to drill safely, in my opinion, especially in the middle of a city.”

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