Large oil spill damages California beaches, wildlife

The large oil spill in the Pacific Ocean offshore of Orange County, California is pictured. Authorities have estimated that the leak in a local pipeline has released some 126,000 gallons of oil. (U.S Coast Guard)


Allyson Lin, World and breaking news editor

A leak in an oil pipeline in the coast of Southern California has spilled into the local environment, harming wildlife and nearby human residents, according to CNN

The largest spill in the US since 2015, and it occurred about five miles off the coast of Huntington Beach in Orange County. The oil spill is calculated to be an equivalent of 3,000 barrels—or 126,000 gallons and it is said the spill could reach 144,000 gallons. 

The US Coast Guard reported that the spill was about 13 square miles. 

It is not clear when the leak began but authorities were notified some 12 hours after the spill was detected, according to CNN.  By midday Monday on October 4, roughly 4,158 gallons of oil had been removed and 8,700 feet of oil boom-term for floating barriers designed to contain oil spills. 

Since a large oil spill occurred in 1969, California has refused to agree to any drilling in its waters, the New York Times reported. Congress had enforced a moratorium on oil and President Biden had signed an executive order continuing the suspension of new oil leasing on federal offshore fields. 

Some lawmakers said the spill was a fresh reminder of the dangers of oil production. 

Representative Ted Lieu said in an interview with the New York Times posted on his campaign website, “My view is that from what we’ve already seen along the California coast, we need to shut down all offshore drilling because it’s too dangerous.”