Over 320 lawmakers, support urgent actions to phase out fossil fuel extraction and production in California with just transition 

By Ramona du Houx

October 4, 2021

On October 2, Southern California woke up to a major oil spill from a broken pipeline connected to an offshore oil platform named Elly off the coast of Huntington and Newport beaches, coastal communities with sensitive lands, and marine animals. Elly is one of 23 oil and gas platforms installed in federal waters off the Southern California coast, according to the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. 

As of Sunday morning, October 4, officials said at least 130,000 gallons have leaked. Amplify Energy, owners of the platform, notified the U.S. Coast Guard that an oil spill had occurred after the company observed an oily sheen in the water, a day after residents smelled oil.

“This oil spill constitutes one of the most devastating situations that our community has dealt with in decades,” Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Kim Carr said during a news conference on Sunday. 

The spill never should have happened. It has been reported in the LA Times that the company has been in trouble in recent years, so it’s possible they were negligent.

The fact is an oil spill happens daily somewhere in the world. With real regulations and enforcement maybe things would be better, but the only way to insure the public, the environment and wildlife are protected is to transition to a clean energy economy.

The following is a statement from the California chapter  of Elected Officials to Protect America:

“Offshore oil drilling is antiquated and surpassed by offshore wind technologies. The dangers of drilling, shipping and processing oil are not acceptable. This tragedy is a clear reason for Governor Newsom to lead the world and transition to a clean energy economy by rapidly phasing out fossil-fuels with a just transition,” said Dominic Frongillo, Executive Director/Co-Founder of Elected Officials to Protect America. “California has a long history of oil spills. Every time fines and criminal charges are brought, the oil industry keeps on with business as usual.  For our people, environment, and the wildlife of these communities, it’s deadly. It’s time to value people over profit. Governor Newsom must create a statewide plan  to phase out fossil fuels production  in California. Clean offshore wind could easily take over from offshore oil platforms. It’s time to end new permits for oil and gas production and invest in a just transition for oil industry workers and communities.”

An EOPA California letter signed by over 320 elected officials from across California to the governor identified major steps he could take to mitigate the health risks that have led to premature deaths because of toxins and pollutants associated with fossil fuel extraction and processing. In the letter, EOPA California requests Governor Newsom stop new fossil fuel permits, phase out fossil fuels immediately, and institute 2,500-foot buffers between drill operations and community sites, while ensuring a just and realistic transition for workers.

Leave a Reply