On Friday, oil began leaking from an undersea pipeline near an offshore oil platform south of Orange County– perhaps after contact with a ship’s anchor. Beaches were closed, and oil began washing up on the Huntington Beach shoreline on Sunday.
One expert suggested that the ship may have anchored there due to the ongoing backup at nearby cargo port facilities.
The spill, at 126,000 gallons, threatens local wildlife and maritime activities, and a massive cleanup effort is under way. But the Los Angeles Times notes that “the size is still far less than several other catastrophic spills in the state and elsewhere.”
Nevertheless, Democrats are calling for all offshore drilling to be ended. Local State Sen. Dave Min (D) said in a statement:
The Orange County Oil Spill illustrates once again that offshore oil drilling is a bad deal for Californians. The revenues and jobs created by offshore drilling are miniscule in size compared to the negative economic impacts this creates. We must end all offshore oil drilling along California’s coast, including drilling performed under existing leases. I intend to introduce legislation doing just that.
Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) declared, ““There is no offshore drilling that is truly safe,” and noted that he had already introduced legislation in Congress to ban all offshore drilling, which would end a significant portion of U.S. production.
Gov. Gavin Newsom added at a press conference on Tuesday in Orange County: It’s time once and for all to disabuse ourselves that this has to be part of our future. This is part of our past.”
As the state has made oil production in California more difficult, including offshore production, California has imported much more of its oil. Oil imports to California have tripled in the last 20 years, despite the proliferation of state-imposed “green” policies. Nearly 60% of the state’s oil comes from foreign sources, which a Forbes analyst recently called a national security threat to the U.S. as a whole. ✪