The Ocean Is Boiling’: The Complete Oral History of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill


Oil platforms, Summerlamd, Santa Barbara County. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care.
Old wells, new problems: Once upon a time, Summerland, California, was the offshore oil drilling capital of the county. And while the wells were abandoned nearly a century ago, many Summerland residents feel that the unprecedented amounts of oil washing up on their beaches in recent months may be the result of these old petroleum-harvesting spots. Santa Barbara historical museum.

Excerpts;

On January 28th, 1969, crude oil and gas erupted from a platform off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Alarm over the disaster reverberated around the world, energizing the nascent environmental movement and leading to a slew of legislative changes…

Read Full Article, By Kate Wheeling & Max Ufberg; Pacific Standard Magazine – 33 min read (04-18-2017)

End America’s Addiction to Fossil Fuels! NRDC (06-08-2015)
The recent oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara is a powerful reminder of the devastating costs of America’s addiction to oil on our communities, beaches and wildlife.

When You Drill, You Spill; Huffington Green (05-27-2015)
The Santa Barbara County spill, one of the largest in California history, reiterates what we already know: We can’t extract oil and transport it without putting our beaches, wildlife, and coastal communities at risk. The sad fact is, when you drill, you spill.

3,200 Gulf wells unplugged, unprotected lie abandoned beneath the Gulf of Mexico, CBS News (04-20-2011)
More than 3,200 oil and gas wells classified as active lie abandoned beneath the Gulf of Mexico, with no cement plugging to help prevent leaks that could threaten the same waters fouled by last year’s BP spill. These wells likely pose an even greater environmental threat than the 27,000 wells in the Gulf that have been plugged and classified officially as “permanently abandoned” or “temporarily abandoned…”

Secrecy Shrouds Decade-Old Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico, ABC News (04-16-2015)

Federal records show steady stream of oil spills in gulf since 1964, Washington Post (07-24-2010)
The oil and gas industry’s offshore safety and environmental record in the Gulf of Mexico has become a key point of debate over future drilling, but that record has been far worse than is commonly portrayed by many industry leaders and lawmakers…

Earth Day, Mother Nature Network
On April 22, 1970, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, founded Earth Day after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California…

refugio-oil-noaa
Clean up teams used shovels and their hands to gather affected soil and ocean debris along oil impacted beaches north of Santa Barbara on May 21, 2015. Captions and Photo source: NOAA / US Coast Guards

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