United States Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and California Attorney General Rob Bonta traveled to Orange County this week for a tour and a briefing from the Coast Guard and other emergency response officials on the investigation and response to the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach.
While at the site, Padilla reiterated the need to end offshore drilling along California’s coast and the urgency of acting on the climate crisis.
“It is unacceptable that Californians are once again facing the devastating effects of an offshore oil spill,” Padilla said. “The trade-off between oil production and environmental harm is simply not one we should be making any longer, especially given how fossil fuel emissions are exacerbating the climate crisis.
“Already, this oil has seeped into environmentally sensitive wetlands, endangering birds and other wildlife, and forcing the closure of beaches that are the economic engines of entire communities. I am committed to fulfilling the promises we made to our children and our constituents that we will act boldly to meet the urgency of this crisis.”
The oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach “is an environmental disaster” with “far reaching consequences for the fish and wildlife for our communities, and for our economy,” the attorney general said.
“I want to thank all our local, state, and federal partners who are working around the clock to protect the health and safety of Californians and to mitigate the damage to our environment and natural resources. In times of crisis, it takes all of us – working together – to get the job done,” Bonta said.
Padilla recently joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in calling on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other involved agencies to investigate the oil spill, make public the results of the investigation, and commit to clear timelines of safety regulations, such as inspections, shut-off valves and leak detection systems, in existing pipelines.
Padilla is also a co-sponsor of the West Coast Ocean Protection Act — a bill that would ban oil and gas drilling off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington — and wants this bill to be included in the Senate version of the budget reconciliation process.