Community and environmental groups on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Bakersfield. They are going against Kern County’s adoption of an ordinance. The ordinance would permit tens of thousands of new oil wells over the next 15 years.
Community and Environmental Groups Lawsuit Petition
On Monday, it was adopted unanimously by the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Therefore, this ordinance would allow for approximately 40,000 new oil and gas wells by 2036.
A Disaster for Low-Income Communities and People of Color and More
“People from various communities live next to oil wells and are already harmed daily by fossil fuel pollution,” Chelsea Tu, senior attorney at the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, which represents the Committee for a Better Arvin, Committee for a Better Shafter, and Comite Progreso de Lamont in the lawsuit. “In fact, the ordinance is a disaster for public health in Kern County. In particular for low-income communities and Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and communities of color.
Community and Environment Groups Argue: Lawsuit to Protect Families
“Communities in Kern are bringing this lawsuit in order to protect their families that is because the county has failed to do so.”
“There is a blatant disregard of the need for a complete and honest environmental review,” said Ann Alexander, a senior attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Therefore, Kern County does in fact deserve a better than a rubberstamped fossil fuel nightmare for years to come.”
“The county is not providing any further comment on this upcoming litigation. “In fact, we are confident in our work and our project said Ally Triolo, the county’s chief communications officer said.
New Wells Bring Added Revenue
The new wells will bring the county more revenue in property taxes and the Kern Citizens for Energy have said the ordinance will create more jobs as a result. This is what the ordinance supporters have argued.