|The residents of Huntington Beach awoke to a devastating sight on Sunday morning — 130,000 gallons of oil washing ashore.(1) |
A leak had sprung in a 17-mile long crude pipeline operated by Beta Offshore and had flooded the area. The oil flooded the beach and Talbert Marsh, an ecological preserve that is home to endangered birds and fish.(2) Wildlife is already dying from the spill, and fumes from the oil are causing health problems for the people who live in and around Huntington Beach.
The only way to prevent these tragedies is to stop offshore drilling outright, which is we are joining California Environmental Justice Alliance to call on Governor Gavin Newsom to put an emergency moratorium on all drilling within a 2,500 foot buffer around families and protected areas immediately.
Sign our petition to Governor Newsom: Stop offshore drilling!
The Talbert Marsh is home to seagulls, willets, long-billed dowitchers, terns, and reddish egrets, all of which are rare on the West Coast.(3) The birds’ habitat is turning into an oil slick, and cleaning the birds before they die is incredibly difficult. Plus, the water is contaminated, harming the fish and marine wildlife who live in it.
Humans are affected as well. The people who were exposed to the spill are suffering eye irritation, wheezing and coughing, nausea and dizziness. And the beach will be closed for months, harming the businesses who previously thrived there.(4)
This isn’t the first oil spill off California’s coast — from the 1969 Santa Barbara disaster to the 2015 pipeline spill at Refugio State Beach, millions of gallons of crude have contaminated the state’s waters.(5) And even when they aren’t spilling, oil rigs are terrible for California’s environment. They dot the shoreline and pollute the waters and the beaches, and they contribute greenhouse gases that warm the planet and cause ever-worsening wildfires.
The answer is clear — there will not be an end to these spills until there is an end to drilling off the coast of California. But that is going to take standing up to Big Oil.
Offshore-drilling leases are controlled by the federal government, and the Trump administration overturned regulations on oil off our coastlines.(6) But governors of states like Florida were able to negotiate exemptions and put moratoriums on offshore drilling in place.(7)
California is a leader in green energy, like wind and solar, and we need to end fossil fuel drilling off our shores. Governor Newsom needs to push for a halt to offshore drilling in our state.
Will you add your voice to our call? Sign our petition asking Governor Newsom to end offshore drilling.