Los Angeles To Fill Petroleum Administrator Post

la_city_hallThe city of Los Angeles will “immediately” hire a full-time petroleum engineer to oversee the hundreds of active oil and gas wells in the city.

A motion by City Council President Herb Wesson to make the hire was approved 14-0. The council specified that the person hired to fill the post must have experience or credentials in petroleum and oil-and-gas operations.

“This is something that we don’t have, something that we used to have, and something that, to me, is obvious that we need to have again,” Wesson said before the council’s action.

The position, vacant for several decades, became the focus of attention after a leaking gas storage well in the affluent Porter Ranch community made headlines.

Environmental and neighborhood activists told the council that they believe state and federal regulators have not sufficiently protected their communities, and that oversight at the city level was necessary.

Mayor Eric Garcetti supported the proposal, saying funds for the position are available, and that his office has already begun to evaluate potential appointees. “I couldn’t believe that a city that was built on oil no longer had a full-time person dealing with oil,” Garcetti said.

The position was full-time starting the late 1950s and continuing for several decades. The position then went unfilled. Oversight of oil and gas activities in the city was delegated to an analyst, who provided reports only upon request. The last such request was made five years ago, according to city officials.

Comments are closed.