A Voice for Our Ocean

“Terrible déjà vu all over again”

Statement from George Leonard, Chief Scientist, on oil spill disaster off Huntington Beach, California

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SANTA CRUZ, CA –The following statement was issued by George Leonard (@GeorgeHLeonard), Chief Scientist at Ocean Conservancy, in reaction to the offshore oil spill in Huntington Beach, California that was reported on October 2, 2021: 

“A massive and ongoing offshore oil spill of 126,000 gallons of crude from a pipeline owned by Amplify Energy Corporation is an unfolding environmental disaster in Huntington, California.  

 “This is a terrible déjà vu all over again. The emerging news coverage and stories from the communities trying to triage the horror of oiled wildlife, tar balls on beaches and extensive booms being put into the ocean to stop the currents from carrying the oil further are a reminder that this has happened multiple times in California and across the U.S.

 “From the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Ocean Conservancy has learned how vital it is to plug this breach quickly and safely, and then to hold the responsible parties accountable.  

“According to Amplify, the pipeline has been shut off but the cause for the spill is still unclear. This raises a red flag about the structural integrity of this pipeline and miles of other offshore oil infrastructure that crisscross America’s waters from Alaska to Florida. 

 “As we bear witness to the growing harm to the marine environment and California communities, we call for rigorous documentation of the environmental, economic, and social damage. This information will be critical to holding the responsible party accountable under U.S. law for the costs of containment, cleanup and damages.  

 “This oil spill is another tragic reminder that we must act swiftly to transition ourselves off fossil fuels. From the Santa Barbara oil spill in 1969 and the Cusco Buson spill in 2007 to the Refugio oil spill in 2015 and now the Huntington spill today, the evidence is clear—offshore oil and gas development is a dangerous and risky business with far-reaching consequences for our ocean and the planet.  

 “We must accelerate the switch to clean energy alternatives to prevent another offshore oil tragedy like this and mitigate the worst of the climate crisis. Today’s latest catastrophe shows we don’t have a moment to waste.”

Enough is Enough. End New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

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