Newsroom / CNA
A large oil spill off southern California has left behind dead fish, contaminated wetlands and birds stuck in the oil, with local officials talking about an environmental disaster.
The U.S. Navy, which is leading the clean-up effort involving federal, state and local agencies, announced yesterday that it is launching an investigation to determine the cause of the oil spill. An estimated 3,000 barrels of oil have created a 13-square-mile oil spill in the Pacific Ocean that was first spotted Saturday morning, Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr told a news conference.
Restrictions have already been put on offshore oil drilling following the catastrophic 1969 oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara which spewed 3 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean
She described the oil spill as an "environmental disaster" and a "potential ecological disaster".
The coastal city, about 65 miles south of Los Angeles, has been hit hard by the oil spill. Amplify Energy, the operator of the Elly oil rig with which the leaking pipeline is connected, announced that the pipeline was closed and the remaining oil was pumped out. According to the company's CEO Martin Wilser, divers are trying to find out where and why there was a leak.
Offshore oil production has fallen sharply since its peak in the 1990s, in part due to the state's strict environmental regulations. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he wants to halt oil drilling in the state by 2045. Restrictions have already been put on offshore oil drilling following the catastrophic 1969 oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara which spewed 3 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean, killing thousands of birds, fish and sea mammals. Another oil spill at the same point in 2015 caused a spill of 2,400 barrels of oil in the Pacific Ocean.