Bernie Sanders on Friday took his campaign to Kenneth Hahn Park to highlight how the oil and gas industry puts profits over the health of communities and the future of our planet.
The park was supposed to be a 400-acre recreation area for the entire community to enjoy, but instead it is now the home of nearly 1,000 active oil wells that cause the area to look more like a toxic wasteland.
Today, more than one million people live within five miles of the massive oil field and over 50,000 households and an elementary school are immediately adjacent to the oil field. 91 percent of the people who live within a quarter mile of an oil or gas well in Los Angeles are people of color.
Californians who live close to these oil fields are exposed to toxic fumes like benzene, hydrogen sulfide, and a long list of other oil drilling chemicals that leak into the air. The pollution from this oil extraction causes nausea, nosebleeds, headaches, and high rates of asthma and other respiratory illness. Dozens of children who attend the elementary school nearby have to carry emergency inhalers for asthma.