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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. BASS. Mr. Chairman, I rise to introduce a straightforward and narrow amendment that restricts Federal resources from supporting hydraulic fracturing in the Baldwin Hills/Inglewood Oil Field, the largest urban oilfield in the United States.

The urban location of the Inglewood Oil Field, as well as the area's susceptibility to earthquakes, requires unique health and safety considerations and precautions. The Inglewood Oil Field is nearly 90 years old, a 1,000-acre oilfield with over 350 oil wells in the center of Los Angeles. It is surrounded by thousands of homes, schools, and parks. In fact, 300,000 residents of Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills, Ladera Heights, Culver City, and Inglewood live and work directly around the field. Additionally, the oilfield borders the Kenny Hahn State Recreation Area, a park that welcomes thousands of families and visitors each year. Not only is the area around the Inglewood Oil Field densely populated; it also sits on the Newport-Inglewood fault, making it very vulnerable to severe earthquakes.

Clearly, the urban landscape and history of seismic activity in this area necessitates stringent health and safety reviews prior to any new oil and gas extraction. However, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is occurring in the Inglewood Oil Field without proper regulation or even a comprehensive study of its safety and impact.

During my time in the California State Assembly, and since coming to Congress, I have heard numerous times directly from my constituents that they are fearful about the environmental health and seismic effects of fracturing in the Inglewood Oil Field and the impact it will have on their families and communities. They have discussed with me several concerns about fracking in the oilfield, like the impact on ground and drinking water safety, toxic chemical dispersion into the soil and air, and disruption of the Newport-Inglewood fault, which could lead to major earthquakes or landslides.

In fact, environmental conservation and health community leaders, like Lark Galloway Gilliam, Jim Lamm, and Mary Anne Greene, a member of the Community Advisory Council, have continually advocated for increased assessment and regulation of fracking in the Inglewood Oil Field.

In addition, Tom Camarella from Culver City has also expressed these concerns, and I believe these concerns are justified.

The people of Los Angeles and Culver City are entitled to an extensive long-term and transparent assessment of fracking operations at the oilfields. Ensuring the health and safety of our constituents should be a top priority.

That is why I rise today to offer this amendment, which will ensure that no Federal funds in this bill will be used to implement, administer, or enforce fracking in the Inglewood Oil Field for the coming fiscal year. This is a small step in the greater fracking debate, but I am proud to amplify the concerns of my community with this amendment.

I urge my colleagues to support the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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