Senator Min Calls For Federal Offshore Drilling Ban In Response To Orange County Oil Spill

Huntington Beach, CA — Senator Dave Min announced today his growing concern over the devastating results of the Orange County oil spill just outside of Huntington Beach and called for a ban on all drilling in federal waters off the coast of California. Along with significant environmental damage and health consequences, the spill presents devastating economic impacts to the regional economy, directly affecting the cities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and further south toward San Diego County. The region is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations due to its beautiful beaches, and also contains some of the state’s most important protected marine ecosystems, including the Bolsa Chica Reserve, Huntington Beach Wetlands and the Crystal Cove Conservancies. The ecological and economic damage from this oil spill has the potential to reverberate for generations.

“This spill is just another unfortunate example of the devastating risks posed to our beautiful California coasts and marine ecosystems by offshore drilling and oil aggregation,” Min stated. “I am calling on my federal counterparts to introduce and pass legislation that will end all offshore oil drilling near California, including currently operating rigs and platforms.” 

“I will also be exploring all of our legislative options at the state level,” Min continued. “We can no longer afford to continue to put big oil profits ahead of the health and safety of our communities. As the untold consequences of this environmental nightmare are made clear, it is my intention that this oil spill should be our last.” 

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has proposed the West Coast Ocean Preservation Act, which would stop all new offshore drilling in the Pacific Ocean and which is also coauthored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA). Min’s call for an end to all drilling in federal waters off the coast of California would go further, by seeking to end existing leases for oil exploration and extraction as well. 

The Orange County Oil Spill has the potential to surpass the state’s last major offshore oil spill-- the 2015 Refugio Beach Oil Spill near Santa Barbara-- in size and impact. Field teams deployed from the State’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, as well as the Oiled Wildlife Care Network of UC Davis, are already on-site and have begun mitigation efforts for the region’s wildlife. Due to the coastline’s naturally preserved  wetlands, the affected areas are home to endangered species whose populations and fragile ecosystems stand to be devastated. 

If you or anyone you know finds or comes across any fish or wildlife affected by this weekend’s oil spill, do not attempt to capture or clean any animal life yourself. Post-production crude oil contains many toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and as such, please report any observations of impacted wildlife to OWCN at 1-800-UCD-OWCN (1-800-823-6962).

The Cities of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach have begun deploying booms and berms in order to prevent additional oil from making its way to the shore. For more information, please contact the Office of Senator Min by reaching out at Ash.Alvandi@sen.ca.gov.

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Dave Min represents California State Senate District 37, which is located in Orange County and includes the communities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Foothill Ranch, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park. 

Dave was a University of California Irvine law professor and a former economic policy staffer in the United States Senate and for the Center for American Progress. He began his legal career at the Securities and Exchange Commission to protect the retirement security of seniors, turning down high-paying jobs to serve the public interest. Dave and his wife Jane live and work in Irvine, where they are raising their three young children.