Democrats Exploit California Oil Spill to Call for Offshore Oil Drilling Ban

Offshore oil California (David McNew / Getty)
David McNew / Getty

Democrats have seized on the recent oil spill in California as an opportunity to renew calls for offshore oil drilling to be banned entirely, even though the oil-rich state already imports oil from elsewhere and the spill is smaller than previous ones.

On Friday, oil began leaking from an undersea pipeline near an offshore oil platform south of Orange County– perhaps after contact with a ship’s anchor. Beaches were closed, and oil began washing up on the Huntington Beach shoreline on Sunday.

One expert suggested that the ship may have anchored there due to the ongoing backup at nearby cargo port facilities.

The spill, at 126,000 gallons, threatens local wildlife and maritime activities, and a massive cleanup effort is under way. But the Los Angeles Times notes that “the size is still far less than several other catastrophic spills in the state and elsewhere.”

Crews deploy skimmers and floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday., Oct. 3, 2021. One of the largest oil spills in recent Southern California history fouled popular beaches and killed wildlife while crews scrambled Sunday to contain the crude before it spread further into protected wetlands. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Crews deploy skimmers and floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday., Oct. 3, 2021. One of the largest oil spills in recent Southern California history fouled popular beaches and killed wildlife while crews scrambled Sunday to contain the crude before it spread further into protected wetlands. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Nevertheless, Democrats are calling for all offshore drilling to be ended. Local State Sen. Dave Min (D) said in a statement:

The Orange County Oil Spill illustrates once again that offshore oil drilling is a bad deal for Californians. The revenues and jobs created by offshore drilling are miniscule in size compared to the negative economic impacts this creates. We must end all offshore oil drilling along California’s coast, including drilling performed under existing leases. I intend to introduce legislation doing just that.

Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) declared, ““There is no offshore drilling that is truly safe,” and noted that he had already introduced legislation in Congress to ban all offshore drilling, which would end a significant portion of U.S. production.

Gov. Gavin Newsom added at a press conference on Tuesday in Orange County: “[I]t’s time once and for all to disabuse ourselves that this has to be part of our future. This is part of our past.”

As the state has made oil production in California more difficult, including offshore production, California has imported much more of its oil. Oil imports to California have tripled in the last 20 years, despite the proliferation of state-imposed “green” policies. Nearly 60% of the state’s oil comes from foreign sources, which a Forbes analyst recently called a national security threat to the U.S. as a whole.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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