Ocean Protection, Water Quality, Oil Spill
June 29 2016

Another Day, Another Spill?

by Amanda Winchell and Jennifer Savage

Once again, another epic fail has damaged a coastal region and threatened a beach.
This week in Ventura, Crimson Pipeline spewed an estimated 29,400 gallons of crude oil into a drainage basin, which channels down to Ventura Pier. Incredibly, due to the early notice emergency officials received from a local citizen, the flow was stopped just before reaching the beach.
Earlier this month in Oregon, a Union Pacific oil train traveling in the Columbia River Gorge derailed, releasing 42,000 gallons of crude oil.
In May in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell Oil spilled nearly 90,000 gallons of oil. This occurred almost exactly a year after the Plains All American Pipeline spill that released approximately 140,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific near Refugio State Beach.
Which brings us back to this week’s spill in Ventura.
There are far too many “spills,” “ruptures” and “leaks” to recount in this single article. We, the community, have continually demanded more oversight, stricter regulations, and – first and foremost – more responsibility from the companies that see the profit of these actions being worth the risk.
It’s time we go a step further and demand that the local, county, state and federal agencies mandated to protect us and our natural resources – not the profit of energy resource companies – do their job and are held accountable.
It’s not a matter of “if” a spill happens, but “when” a spill happens. If this was the lens through which work was approved or denied it would be a significant step in the right direction – as opposed to the epic failure that this federal environmental assessment on the risk of fracking exemplifies.
Everyone can write their elected officials to say enough is enough. It's time we demand our leaders hold the oil and gas industry accountable and help us transition to a clean energy future!