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Environmental Defense Center to Host Refugio Oil Spill Film to Raise Awareness of Trump Offshore Oil Plan

Santa Barbara – On Tuesday, March 20th at 6:30 PM, the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) will host a screening of BROKE: The Santa Barbara Oil Pipeline Spill of 2015 at the New Vic Theatre (33 W Victoria, Santa Barbara). Tickets are free, but RSVPs are required. Immediately following the film, guests will be invited to participate in a conversation between filmmaker and EDC Board Member, Gail Osherenko, and EDC Chief Counsel, Linda Krop. The evening will conclude with a reception. The evening has been arranged to raise awareness of, and support for, EDC’s work protecting the Santa Barbara Channel from the threatening offshore oil drilling expansion.

BROKE tells the story of the May 19th, 2015, rupture in the Plains All American Pipeline which poured at least 140,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Gaviota Coast and into the Santa Barbara Channel. The spill killed at least 300 marine mammals and seabirds, closed 138 square miles of fisheries, and polluted beaches up to 150 miles away. While focusing on the disaster and the challenging efforts to attempt to restore the damaged coastline, BROKE also dispels the notion that there is any safe or risk-free way to drill for, or transport, oil. The film, which premiered in February at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) has also been an official selection at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and won an IndieFEST Film Award. 

 “Our communities have faced far too many oil spills, from the terrible 1969 spill which started the modern environmental movement, to the devastation caused by the Refugio spill,” said filmmaker and EDC Board Member, Gail Osherenko. “Now with the Trump Administration attempting to open up the Santa Barbara Channel and more than 90% of our nation’s waters to new oil and gas drilling, it is more important than ever that we learn the lessons that these disasters presented.”

The criminal trial against Plains, delayed by the Montecito mudslide, is expected to begin this spring in Santa Barbara Superior Court.  The state and county charges against the pipeline company are only the beginning of the end of the story. Plains still faces multiple class action suits for damages; the County of Santa Barbara is seeking monetary damages, and the Natural Resources Damage Assessment Process is ongoing. The 2015 spill will continue to be in the news for many months to come.

“BROKE is a vital film for our time and our community which has experienced far too many oil spills,” said EDC’s Linda Krop. “With oil and accidents, it is never a question of if, but rather when one will happen, and Trump’s new proposal would ensure we continue to face these threats for the next 40-50 years.”

BROKE will screen at the New Vic on March 20th at 6:30PM. To RSVP, call 805-963-1622, email EDC@EnvironmentalDefenseCenter.org, or visit www.EnvironmentalDefenseCenter.org.

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Environmental Defense Center, a non-profit law firm, protects and enhances the local environment through education, advocacy, and legal action and works primarily within Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. Since 1977, EDC has empowered community-based organizations to advance environmental protection.  Program areas include climate and energy, and protecting clean water, the Santa Barbara Channel, and open space and wildlife. Learn more about EDC at www.EnvironmentalDefenseCenter.org 

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