Oil Spill Killing Wildlife in Southern Cal

October 4, 2021

Wall Street Journal:

Saturday morning, workers from Houston-based Amplify EnergyCorp. noticed oil in the water near an oil-processing plant off the coast of Huntington Beach, Calif. The offshore platform receives oil from about 70 wells and then sends it to a local refinery. 

Where did the spill happen?

The spill took place underwater about 5 miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, one of several famed beaches in Orange County. Huntington Beach is located about 37 miles southeast of Los Angeles. 

How bad is the oil spill?

The spill totaled about 126,000 gallons of oil. By Sunday, there were reports of dead fish and birds washing ashore near Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, according to Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley. 

Several beaches were closed. Local health officials told residents in the affected area to avoid walking, swimming or surfing near the affected beaches and wetlands. They also advised people to avoid touching any oil on beaches or attempting to rescue any wildlife affected by the oil.

Dr. Clayton Chau, director of the Orange County Health Care Agency, said the county planned to issue a health advisory related to the spill. He advised residents to seek medical attention if they experience effects from vapors such as irritation to their eyes and throat or dizziness and vomiting. 

Rep. Michelle Steel sent a letter Sunday to President Biden requesting a major disaster declaration for Orange County.

Who is Amplify Energy?

Amplify Energy is a smaller oil-and-gas company that focuses on older fields across the U.S., including in the waters off the coast of California. It also has operations in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana according to its website. Before the spill, it had a market capitalization of nearly $219 million. The company’s chief executive is Martyn Willsher, who took over the role in January after working for years at the company and in the oil-and-gas industry.

What happens next?

Much is still unknown about the cause of the spill and the Coast Guard has promised a round-the-clock investigation. Amplify Energy said it is working with federal and state authorities and has sent a remotely operated vehicle to investigate the source of the release. 

Mr. Willsher said at a briefing Sunday that the company suspects the leak occurred somewhere along a pipeline 4½ miles offshore that connects a platform named Elly to the coast. Elly produces from a the large Beta offshore oil field. The platform was installed in 1980, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and processes production from two other platforms.

He said the company’s operations were shut down as divers were trying to find the source and cause of the spill in a pipeline about 80 to 100 feet underwater. “We will do everything in our power to ensure that this is recovered as quickly as possible,” he said.


7 Responses to “Oil Spill Killing Wildlife in Southern Cal”

  1. J4Zonian Says:

    Steel wants money from the federal government. I think that’s great, but she’s a member of the main climate-denying delayalism party, bragged when she ran for the office that she was a “tax fighter” [1] and was on the side of der Gropenführer, voted to increase traffic at the LA airport, supported the recall of Governor Newsom and replacing him with extreme right wing talk show nut Larry Elder [2], and calls herself part of the whoopdeedoo free dumb force, an answer to the squad from newly elected right wing House o crazy inmates. She introduced a bill to oppose California’s high speed rail line. Despite contracting the disease, she’s consistently opposed medical science on Covid as well. [3]

    “It’s a top priority of mine to ensure our beaches, harbors, and oceans stay clean. It’s up to us to protect our coastal communities, boating, and tourism for future generations.
    At the same time, we must support a free-market approach to encourage innovations that will keep energy prices from skyrocketing and reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy.”
    “energy is also a national security concern. We must ensure that we safeguard energy production to support our military at home and abroad.” [4]

    Of course, 100% clean safe renewable energy, and a market not controlled by major corporations working with corrupt politicians would do all that better than any alternative, and would mean that we could actually clean up beaches and other areas fouled for geologic time with toxic waste by fossil fuels.

    Providing an endless supply of fossil fuels for the US military is one of the best ways to reduce security of the US and the world. Security would be enhanced for all by a 50-75% reduction of the US military and its replacement by a civilian climate corps, including a professional emergency response team for things like offshore oil blowouts.

    So the deal should be that in exchange for the district getting money she opposed securing in every practical sense, for a disaster she helped make inevitable, she would step down in favor of a progressive Democrat. Alternatively, she could agree to vote for all bills to raise taxes on the rich, to speak in favor of and vote for all climate and pro-clean safe renewable energy initiatives supported by progressive Democrats. It would be great to set that precedent, so as red states increasingly face disasters they caused, there would be a natural feedback mechanism to shift policy to stopping them.

    [1] https://www.michellesteelca.com/
    [2] en[DOT]wikipedia[DOT]org/wiki/Larry_Elder#Politics
    [3] en[DOT]wikipedia[DOT]org/wiki/Michelle_Steel
    [4] https://steel.house.gov/issues/energy-and-environment

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Orange County is Katie Porter’s district.
    Sic ’em, Katie!

    (God, I love that woman.)

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Some perspective:

    ~210m gallons from the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010

    ~126,000 gallons in this spill.

    DH was ~1,600x the size of this spill.

    • No oil spill is good, but this blog will only express concern for wildlife, e.g. oily birds, when machines that chronically kill them are heralded as “clean and green.”

      Any deaths caused by their beloved white giants are “saving” future birds via vague pronouncements, and they dismiss the concept of cumulative harm from different man-made threats, including the fact that oil builds wind turbines, not pixie dust.

      The standard response to this is rationalizations about house cats killing more birds (rarely the same species, like raptors) and ignoring the future expansion of wind power, which guarantees future deaths as more flyways are impeded.


      Bat deaths are a topic wind-pushers can’t dodge with the house cat angle, so they talk of “mitigation,” like shutting down entire wind arrays when a bat is detected. Absurd, impractical virtue-signaling.


      • dumboldguy Says:

        False Premise once again earns his name by maundering on about how wind turbines are death machines. LOL Has he given up on trying to convince us that every scenic view in the world is going to be “polluted” by his so-called “wind giants”? LOL again.

        And why is he hiding from the blatant racism and prejudice he has shown in previous posts? Is he hoping we’d forgotten? Not a chance.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        The very construction of your google searches shows that you’re searching for things that support your criticism of wind+turbines.

        Why not search “what kills the most birds?” or “what kills the most bats?”.
        I know why: You only care about birds and bats as a wedge to attack wind turbines, which offends your aesthetic sensibility. You are completely incapable of seeing all the death, destruction and illness that the extraction and combustion methods of producing energy has wrought on the lungs of animals (like us and our children) or the water or the soil. Consider the number of birds and animals killed by oil spills worldwide every year. Consider the PM2.5 coming out of coal plants around the world.

        Every one of those “nasty” windmills is replacing these poisonous energy sources.

        What do you think should replace the energy produced by these wind turbines? BE SPECIFIC.

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