Return to the Latest For Immediate Release: Jan 24, 2024

Campaign for a Safe and Healthy California Points to Devastating Weekend Oil Spill in Los Angeles as Another Reason to KEEP THE LAW Preventing Drilling in Neighborhoods

SACRAMENTO – On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported that a burst pipe at Warren Resources, Inc, a private oil and gas operator located in Wilmington, CA, sent a mixture of oil and gas spewing into the street and nearly 30 feet into the air within 50 feet of supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness, within 1500 feet of a little league baseball field, and within half a mile of neighborhood schools and health centers like Harry Bridges Elementary & Junior High Span School, George De La Torre Elementary School, and the North East Community Clinic.

The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy California points to this latest tragic incident as proof of why Californians need to KEEP THE LAW protecting California neighborhoods from toxic oil and gas drilling. 

"This is not the first time we see oil spilling onto the streets in our communities. Incidents like this are why we have been urging our lawmakers for years to put an end to neighborhood oil drilling. The company has had no communication with us about what happened, it seems like they have no emergency plan for their neighbors," said Ashley Hernandez, Wilmington community member and Community Organizer for Communities for a Better Environment. "The Wilmington community is no stranger to oil spills in our neighborhood, this is why we must vote to keep the law this November to protect the health and safety of our community!”

A report from Liberty Hill revealed that a drilling operations arm of this same company, Warren E&P, continues to skirt around the laws and safety regulations designed to protect public health. Between December 2018 and December 2021, the company filed several notices of intent to drill with California’s oil and gas regulatory agency (California Geologic Energy Management or CalGEM) relying on gross misrepresentations, including expired City approval and the signature of a former employee who had not been employed by the City for over a decade. Records obtained by Liberty Hill show that more than 4.3 million pounds of carcinogens and 4.6 million pounds of endocrine disrupting chemicals have been used at the facility since 2013.

This is just one example of a community that continues to be devastated by the effects of toxic drilling. 

Nearly 30,000 oil and gas wells in California sit within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, hospitals and other public areas, exposing more than 2 million people,disproportionately communities of color, to emissions that cause birth defects, respiratory illnesses and cancer. An independent scientific advisory panel in 2021 advised California officials that a 3,200-foot setback between oil wells and sensitive receptors is the minimum distance to protect public health.  

Big Oil has been working to repeal a law (SB 1137) that would make existing oil and gas wells safer by meeting tighter health and environmental requirements within 3,200 feet of neighborhoods, schools, daycare centers and healthcare facilities, and keeping new wells from being built in these areas. To try and overturn this public safety law, oil companies have placed a deceptive measure on the November 2024 ballot. 

“KEEP THE LAW” Campaign endorsers include public health groups, community and faith organizations, and environmental justice leaders from across California, working to hold oil companies accountable for creating a public health crisis, especially for communities of color.

Press Contact:

Robin Swanson, or Nicolette Velazquez,