Thanks to diligent community efforts, Ventura County Supervisors voted for a 6-month moratorium on any oil and gas drilling near clean water, after scientists detected petroleum-related gases in the Fox Canyon Aquifer — a key drinking and irrigation water source for Oxnard, California.
This decision has temporarily blocked an oil company, Peak Operator, and their dangerous proposal to drill over 200 new wells through Oxnard’s groundwater basin.
The people who live closest to the current and proposed oil wells are already overburdened with the highest rates of pollution in all of California according to the California EPA. 96% of those residents are Latino and they're in the top 100th percentile for pesticide exposure, top 96th percentile for asthma rates, and top 98th percentile for cardiovascular disease.
The moratorium puts a stop to any new oil wells near clean water and further look into projects like Peak Operator's that aim to circumvent new environmental protections.
This heavy tar sand oil is so dirty that it can't even be used in California because it doesn't meet its low-carbon fuel standards. This means Peak Operator intends to use extreme amounts of energy, water and chemicals that will further pollute already disadvantaged communities in order to get tar sands out of the ground, while sending the produced oil to other countries with lower fuel standards to pollute their air.
That was not about energy independence — it was about corporations sacrificing a community’s lungs, air and water to make profits!
This moratorium is a step in the right direction, and a win we've been fighting for, but now it's time to fight for permanent protection from risky oil development in Ventura County. Read more.