Posts Tagged ‘offshore drilling’

By Christine Neilson
Special to the OC Voice

Are Californians desperate enough for oil to overcome their deep-seated aversion to offshore drilling?

Will a new Democratic or Republican president and Congress lift the national moratorium on offshore drilling for oil instituted by former president George R. Bush, Sr., as requested by his son and current president, George W. Bush?


OIL SPILL VICTIM: Even during an economic slump Californians care about the environment, according to a survey. Photo: wikipedia.org

California’s offshore oil industry stretches back more than a century. The world’s first offshore well was drilled in 1897 at the end of a wharf in Summerland, just east of Santa Barbara.

The waters between Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands still hold most of California’s operating oil platforms.

The U.S. Minerals Management Service controls oil leases in federal waters, which start 3 miles off the California coast. Most of the state’s known oil fields lie not far from shore, in an arc stretching from Santa Maria to Long Beach.

A 1969 blowout at a rig near Santa Barbara spewed crude oil into the sea, coating or contaminating 30 miles of shoreline. The spill helped forge the modern environmental movement and led to state and federal moratoriums on new offshore drilling.

On Feb. 7, 1990, the steam tanker American Trader spilled an estimated 416,598 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean off of Huntington Beach. (more…)


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Coast Watch

By Serge Dedina
OC Voice Columnist

California offshore oil rig

California offshore oil rig

On Jan. 29, 1969, a Union Oil platform located 6 miles off of the coast of Santa Barbara experienced a major blowout. Over 3.6 million gallons of crude oil leaked into the ocean over an 11-day period resulting in an 800-square mile oil slick and devastating more than 35 miles of coastline from Rincon to Goleta. The disaster, one of the worst in U.S. history, resulted in the deaths of thousands of sea birds and marine mammals.

The Santa Barbara oil spill was so devastating and its impact so far and wide along what is considered one of the world’s most beautiful and economically valuable coastlines, that President Richard Nixon declared that, “The Santa Barbara incident has, frankly, touched the conscience of the American people.”

The public response to the disaster was immediate and overwhelming. Thousands of volunteers, surfers, society matrons, students and people from every walk of life helped clean up oil-slickened beaches and rescue injured sea birds and marine mammals. (more…)

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