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Statement: Massive oil spill off Southern California coast harming wildlife

100,000-gallon leak latest example of dirty, dangerous drilling
For Immediate Release

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- A broken pipeline has spewed more than one hundred thousand gallons of oil into the ocean near Huntington Beach, California, closing the beach and forcing the cancellation of the final day of the Pacific Air Show. The spill, discovered Saturday morning, is coming from an oil drilling operation eight miles off the coast, operated by Houston-based Amplify Energy. The pipeline, formerly operated by Shell oil, has been in place since the 1980s. The Coast Guard has been called in for emergency clean-up, since the oil has rendered the  coastline too dangerous for humans and marine wildlife.

Environment California State Director Laura Deehan issued the following statement:

“The hundred-thousand of gallons of oil that spilled into the ocean near Huntington Beach provide a stark and dark reminder that oil is dirty, dangerous, and can make our air and water too toxic for life.

“The oil from the spill has already washed up onto Huntington Beach and the Talbert Marsh wetlands, an area that’s home to vibrant birdlife, including great blue herons, pelicans and endangered California least terns, which migrate up the Pacific Coast. The coast is also the habitat for myriad non-avian marine life; from fish that we eat, such as tuna and sea bass, to sea turtles, dolphins and whales. This spill threatens all of them.

“This ecological disaster underscores the urgent need for Gov. Newsom to accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels to a 100 percent renewable energy-powered economy.”

Environment America Protect Our Oceans Campaign Director Kelsey Lamp issued the following statement:

“This spill will have long-lasting consequences. Harm from oil leaks persists for years. We cannot forget that no matter what stage in the process -- from extraction and refining to transportation and its use in cars -- oil is dirty and dangerous to both our climate and our ability to simply breathe freely every day.

“We ultimately need to keep oil and gas in the ground, end offshore drilling and require stronger penalties for fossil fuel companies that are responsible for oil spills.” 

 

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Environment California works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment California is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Environment California is also part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.