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Culver City Wins Oil Field Battle, More Fights in the Pipeline

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Drinking other people's milkshakes ain't easy, and the Plains Exploration & Production Company, which holds the sole drilling rights to the Inglewood Oil Field, is getting it from north and south. Last week a judge ruled that Culver City, home to the northern part of the oil field, could keep in place an interim control ordinance forbidding any new drilling, redrilling, or deepening of oil wells in the city until it adopts a permanent ordinance. The city had already been working (slowly) on an ordinance in line with the county's rules for the rest of the field (which is in unincorporated LA county), but imposed the ICO as a stopgap last August after it found out that PXP had applied to the state for new Culver City drilling permits. The 25 existing Culver City wells were all permitted under PXP's predecessor--but only two new wells have been drilled since 1985, both in 2002, according to the court's decision. The county certified an Environmental Impact Report in 2008 that would allow "up to 600 new oil wells over the next 20 years" in its part of the field, according to the City Project Blog. That's what's being challenged in that other Inglewood Oil Field lawsuit we heard about, which will go to trial on April 5 in front of the same judge who ruled on Culver City. Pretty much everyone's objections are tied to two separate 2006 episodes when noxious gases made their ways into residential neighborhoods. The Culver City lawsuit also cites a 2008 crude oil pipeline leak. [Image via USA Today]
· Court Upholds the Right of the People to Regulate Urban Oil Field — Baldwin Hills [City Project Blog]
· Still Drilling on Planned Baldwin Hills Park Land, Despite Shady Regulation [Curbed LA]