In the famous words of Walt Whitman, "I am large, I contain multitudes.: More definitively, I am the type of person that views the world from the corner of my eye. My reality is formed from the details; the small stories that add up to form this...
Homes in Signal Hill, CA, a suburb of Long Beach, sit nestled together against the constant extraction of oil. Signal Hill was first an oil field but the increasing population and need for new homes forced developers to look to the open spaces in oil fields to build homes.
Andrew Krowne, a resident of Chatsworth, CA, in his hotel room. After the gas leak, his children reported chronic headaches which forced them out of their home. He had been staying in this hotel room with his five children for more than 5 months.
Windsor Hills Elementary School in Los Angeles sits across the street from the Inglewood Oil Field, the largest urban oil field in the country. The unique seismic activity due to the Newport-Inglewood Fault along with the hydraulic fracturing activities in the oil field forced an echolon shear to develop across the playground of this school.
In Ladera Heights, commonly nicknamed the 'Black Beverly Hills' residents live in the shadow of the Inglewood Oil Field, constantly living under the threat of health and environmental problems that commonly occur.
Porter Ranch Town Center sits in the shadow of the natural gas storage facility, operated by SoCal Gas, that lines the ridge of the canyon above the town. In late 2015, that facility had the largest methane gas leak in national history that persisted from October of 2015 to February of 2016.
In October of 2015, Porter Ranch, a small community in Los Angeles County, faced the largest methane gas leak in United States history. More than 100,000 tons of toxic gas was leaked and contaminated the air breathed in by families in Porter Ranch and surrounding communities. With more than 5,000 families forced to relocate for months on end, most would think the issue would cause public outrage. Instead, many remained ignorant. Los Angeles is home to oil fields such as those at Signal Hill and Inglewood - both of which exist in the center of dense neighborhoods surrounded by schools, homes, parks and busy shopping centers. This extensive oil infrastructure being largely ignored gives reason to the fact that so few seem to care about the events unfolding in Porter Ranch. This disaster remains invisible to those unaffected yet is something that could happen to any one of those millions of Angelenos living in the shadow of oil infrastructure. Our addiction to fossil fuels has taken precedence over the safety of our environments and ourselves. Until we choose to recognize the dangers of what is right in front of us tragedies like that in Porter Ranch will only continue to occur.