Kayah Swanson, email@example.com
Culver City, CA — The oil and gas wells in Culver City’s portion of the Inglewood Oil Field will officially be phased out and cleaned up by the end of 2029 as a result of an agreement announced yesterday between Culver City and Sentinel Peak Resources.
In June 2021, Culver City passed an ordinance to phase out existing wells, the first city in recent history to do so. It marked a huge win for local residents and environmental justice groups who have fought for over a decade to shut down this dangerous oil field. To avoid the threat of litigation over that ordinance, the Culver City Council agreed to this settlement with Sentinel Peak Resources.
“While we are celebrating this long-awaited agreement, we’ve been waiting far too long for these dangerous wells to be cleaned up. This extended timeline will continue to burden the community even further with health impacts from pollution and climate change-driven extreme weather events,” said Nicole Levin, senior organizer for the Sierra Club Dirty Fuels Campaign. “We encourage the city council to move as quickly as possible to address this crisis and hold Sentinel Peak accountable for the cost of cleanup.”
Although a small city with just 38 oil and gas wells, Culver City has set an important precedent for the broader Los Angeles area, including the much-larger County portion of the Inglewood field. In 2018, the City initially contemplated expanding operations in the oilfield, adding up to 30 new wells. In response to community outcry, the City changed course and commissioned a study to lay the groundwork for a phase out of oil and gas operations. Other local governments have since followed suit, with Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City commissioning similar studies earlier this year.
Despite this win, the Council originally voted for a five-year phaseout timeline—which would have set a deadline for all wells to be phased out and cleaned up by November 2026. The newly expanded timeline gives Sentinel Peak an additional three to six years to complete the job. This further delay is a disappointment and injustice to the surrounding community, which has unjustly borne the increased risks of developing increased rates of asthma, headaches, reproductive harm, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues due to decades of oil drilling.
“Good riddance to a terrible neighbor. We just wish it were happening sooner,” said Gladys Delgadillo, senior organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s great that Culver City made the critical decision to phase out oil drilling, but it’s disappointing Sentinel Peak Resources bullied the city into three more years of toxic air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Sentinel spent millions of dollars trying to kill a health buffer protecting homes and schools from its dirty oil wells, so they can afford to quickly clean up their mess in Culver City."
Residents will continue to push for bold and swift progress to address these dangerous oil and gas wells in their neighborhoods and across the state. Groups urge the council to prioritize shutting down wells closest to homes and other sensitive areas and to hold Sentinel Peak to strong remediation standards.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.