Two weeks ago, approximately 130,000 gallonss of oil spilled on the southern coast of California. Since that disastrous event, Representative Michelle Steel has taken proactive steps to stand up to Congress and President Biden to help our California community and take action to prevent future oil spills.
Not only did the oil spill destroy wildlife and the coast, but it also revealed something more concerning: energy inefficiency. A low pressure alarm went off at 2:30 a.m. on October 2, but Amplify Energy Company / Beta Offshore did not shut off the pipe until 6:01 a.m. It took Amplify three additional hours to report the spill to the National Response Center. . There is no reason for it to take three hours to detect a broken pipe and report it to our coast guard. Amplify Energy has spent the past three years providing training for a spill, but its inadequate emergency response demonstrates the inefficiency of our energy services.
Since this environmental disaster struck earlier this month, Representative Steel has remained at the forefront of California politics, demanding responses from Amplify Energy and seeking relief from the federal government.
On October 12, the Representative proposed the Ships Act prohibit freighters from idling or anchoring within 20 miles of the Orange County coast for the next 180 days. A freighter’s anchor may have caused the oil spill, and the Representative is prioritizing reopening ports and moving ships out of Orange County waters.
Steel further reached out to President Biden to call for a federal investigation against Amplify Energy to see if they had violated their congressional emergency response programs and notification services. Steel urges the President and the Federal Government to take note of the recent tragedy and hold Amplify and everyone involved in the recent oil spill responsible for the damage and prevent a similar incident from happening again in the future.
To prevent another oil spill, the Representative issued a statement on October 14 calling on the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Coast Guard are reviewing nautical charts near pipelines off OC’s coast and making sure these charts remain accurate to prevent future spills.
The last thing Orange County needs is another environmental disaster. Our leaders must develop strategies and promote more effective government systems to prevent future disasters from occurring.
Representative Steel continues to monitor the oil spill and remains proactive in holding our government accountable for the oil spill. As a fighter for California taxpayers, Steel is preparing to fight for more effective government institutions and to hold our government and local leaders accountable for the spill.
Sarah Evleth is a resident of Huntington Beach, California. Sarah recently graduated from UC Riverside with a degree in Political Science and Public Service. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Laws degree at the Maurice A. Deane Faculty of Law, Hofstra University.
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