The Orange County coastline has become the latest casualty of the nation’s unhealthy dependence on oil. In one of the biggest California spills in decades, a pipeline connected to an offshoot oil platform off the coast of Huntington Beach released at least 126,000 gallons of crude over the weekend.
By Sunday morning, the smell of diesel and tar hovered in the coastal air as clumps of crude washed ashore, along with dead birds and fish. Out on the water, a vast oil slick larger than city of Santa Monica had formed. And crews worked feverishly to clean up the oil that had seeped into the delicate coastal marshlands and to prevent greater damage to this essential habitat for migratory birds. Orange County officials estimate that the affected beaches could be closed for weeks or even months.
This is why the U.S. needs to end coastal oil drilling.