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Community, Advocates Voice Serious Concerns with PXP Fracking Study

Culver City residents were among those who turned out Monday night to hear Plains Exploration & Production Company’s presentation on why it believes fracking at the Inglewood Oil Field is not dangerous.

At the Plains Exploration & Production Company's (PXP) community meeting Monday night, people from the communities surrounding the Inglewood Oil Field joined advocacy organizations Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community and Food & Water Watch in speaking out against PXP’s recent study on fracking and the practice of fracking and its related activities in general.

PXP held a meeting at Knox Presbyterian Church in Ladera Heights at 6:30 p.m. to present its findings. At 6 p.m. Food & Water Watch held a press conference outside the church where it released a detailed analysis of PXP’s fracking study (see attached PDF to the right of this article for Food & Water Watch’s 10 page analysis of the study).

In an offiicial release, FWW stated that the study does nothing to address the community’s concerns and “bends science to suit the oil and gas industry’s financial interests. “

As Patch reported in an article last week ahead of the meeting, Food & Water Watch Pacific Region Director Kristin Lynch noted, “The conflict of interest and lack of independent scientific scrutiny involved in this 'study’ could not be more obvious and does nothing to address the long-term risks that drilling and fracking pose to communities surrounding the Inglewood Oil Field.”

Lynch added, “On the contrary, truly independent studies have consistently shown that fracking and its related activities pose an unacceptable risk to our water, air, climate, homes and communities. The only way to protect California's future and move toward clean and sustainable energy resources is to ban fracking."

Dozens of residents from the communities of Culver City, Ladera Heights and Baldwin Hills shared with the crowd of more than 200 how they have already suffered from the impacts of the Texas-based oil company’s drilling and that fracking would make their problems worse. The study was a result of a lawsuit settlement between environmental and community groups and PXP. It was intended to assess "the feasibility and potential impacts of fracking operations that PXP may conduct in the Inglewood Oil Field."

However, according to the FWW analysis, the study falls drastically short of this objective with narrow scope and sweeping conclusions.

Click here to read PXP's report that finds fracking at the Inglewood Oil Field is not dangerous

"Unfortunately, given the Settlement Agreement terms acceptable to all parties involved and the history of the implementation of the agreement by both Los Angeles County and PXP, one could only assume the results would be favorable to the oil operator and industry," said Paul Ferrazzi, executive director of Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community. "We wish we could have some confidence in this study but given the study’s preparing company's and the peer reviewer's direct advocacy for the industry, we do not feel it was adequately conducted, properly reviewed or that the public should take comfort in the conclusions of the study.  If anything, this study raises more questions than it answers.”

Ferazzi went on to say, “The public should be able to ask for clarification and further support for the authors' contentions. CCSC urges the county to use the study as a starting point for further discussion and allow public participation and professional scientific responses independent of the oil and gas industries influence to test the validity, assumptions and conclusions of the study before any fracking is allowed."

Did you attend Monday night's meeting? Share your thoughts in the comments below and upload your photos here.

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Edmund Burke October 16, 2012 at 07:55 PM
As anyone without dollar signs in their eyes can see, fracking here is simply insane. PXP hired the folks they needed to produce the data they desired. A resident suggested that PXP pay for the community to hire their own peer reviewers--this was not received enthusiastically. There is plenty of hard science now becoming available about the effects of fracking on health, groundwater, earthquakes and air pollution. Prepared and peer-reviewed by oil industry shills, this study is meaningless.
Meghan Sahli-Wells October 17, 2012 at 08:37 PM
One of the most interesting aspects of the study released by PXP is that our hills have been hydraulically fractured 22 times since the Texas company took over the oilfield in 2003. Keep in mind that the Inglewood Oil Field is the largest urban oil field in the country. Moreover, it sits on an active 7.4 fault line, in a densely populated area. In all that time - and still today - California does not specifically regulate fracking. In contrast to the PXP study, numerous scientific studies have exposed the risks inherent in fracking. Yet our State has given us no protections from this process or even simple notification when, where, how, fracking occurs or to what chemicals we're being subjected. Now we know this has happened in our neighborhoods, in our watershed, 22 times in the past 9 years.
Teri November 18, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Hi, I just posted a video from the PXP Fracking Meeting in October 2012. *This isn't the best video in the world (had some technical difficulties) but at least its something for people who weren't able to make it to the meeting.

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