Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Old enough to remember the first one

There was a pretty large oil spill in Southern California last week-end. It spilled 140,000 gallons of oil off the coast of Orange County, now travelling towards San Diego County. Some of the best beaches in country are being affected: Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, Laguna Beach and more.

It is horrible.

I am old enough to remember the big Santa Barbara oil spill. It happened in 1969 and was about 40 times larger. It spill 4,200,000 gallons of oil. It put the entire state of California pretty much off limits for new oil exploration.

Now, I don't know if the current spill, probably caused by a waiting supership to wait for access to the LA / Long Beach port, was between a pipeline access pint to pump oil into the region, or from an older offshore rig (the are a few in Long Beach), but it is horrible.

I remember this as a ten year old, not because of the environmental issues, but because of the tar. For years when you went to the West facing beaches in Los Angeles like Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach or Santa Monica, you had to scrub your feet for a long time to remove the tar. You had to wear something so the tar didn't get into the car while you drove home. It was all caused by the largest spill in the US of all time. At the time, now it is the 3rd largest after the Exxon Valdez in Alaska and the Deep Water Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.

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