Day 2: EDC Statement on Refugio Oil Spill Response
The Environmental Defense Center is deeply saddened by the environmental damage we are seeing on the beaches and in the Santa Barbara Channel from yesterday’s oil spill inland of Refugio State Beach. There continues to be a number of questions that have yet to be answered including the size of the spill, why there was no automatic shut-off on this relatively new pipeline, and why the early response was not more successful in halting the flow of crude oil into the fragile waters of the Santa Barbara Channel and across our precious coastline.
The fact is that oil development is innately risky. We need to realize that allowing these dangerous industrial operations in our most sensitive environments will inevitably lead to oil spills – the most predictable of accidents. And this region is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife including numerous species of endangered whales and iconic coastlands that bring people from across the world to visit. As we monitor the cleanup operations, we must keep in mind that Venoco looks to expand drilling operations from Platform Holly and Sunset Exxon wants to begin new coastal slant drilling from Vandenberg, both projects EDC is working diligently to prevent – and again with oil drilling and accidents it is not a question of if, but when.”
-Owen Bailey, Executive Director, Environmental Defense Center