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California Oil Spill: End Off-Shore Drilling

“California’s offshore oil platforms are a ticking time bomb,” says Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s time to shut them down.”

"...this oil spill is just heartbreaking. And, you know, if I were to paint a broad picture, I think there are three key takeaways, that all point to ending offshore drilling off of California and everywhere. First, offshore drilling is just dirty and dangerous. There’s no safe way to do it. Here, you know, you look out at the ocean, and you see just miles of coastline that are oiled. The stench of petroleum is pervasive. And as you said, there are 144,000 gallons of oil that have poured out into the water. And this is more oil than the worst-case scenario discharge from that pipeline in the oil spill response plan.

Secondly, you know, there’s — the second lesson is there’s no way, it’s impossible, to clean up an oil spill. It’s just devastating. There are dead fish and birds washing ashore. And oil is really harmful for birds. They can’t fly. It destroys their insulation. They die of hypothermia. It’s poisoned fish and shellfish, and they’ve closed the fishing off the coast. And out at sea, whales and dolphins are swimming through it, and they’re breathing in the toxic vapors from the oil.

So, the third key takeaway is really that California’s offshore platforms are a ticking time bomb. So, whether it was this accident or another one, they were just waiting to happen. These oil platforms are more than 40 years old, and they’re old and decrepit. And it’s time to shut them down. They’ve outlived their intended lifespan. If you look at the 1978 environmental documents for these platforms, they were supposed to be decommissioned after 35 years. Yet they’re still lingering on and need to be closed down." - Miyoko Salashita
Democracy Now!