Calls for ban on increased offshore oil drilling in OC Congress delegation


SANTA ANA (CNS) – Representative Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, said today that he has advocated for a ban on all offshore oil drilling for at least five years, but until then more needs to be done to use satellite technology. to spot the leaks earlier than the one that occurred in Huntington Beach this weekend.

Representative Mike Levin, D-Dana Point, told City News Service on Monday that he was also pushing for a ban on offshore drilling ahead of last weekend’s spill, including inserting legislation into the Bill on Build Back Better infrastructures.

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, is a co-sponsor of the West Coast Ocean Protection Act, which bans leases off the Pacific coast and supports the Build Back Better Act, which includes a ban on new offshore drilling in the federal waters on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Representative Alan Lowenthal, of D-Long Beach, released a statement on Tuesday supporting the phase-out of offshore drilling.

“As we move towards a renewable energy future, and as we saw over the weekend, it is clear that the production of fossil fuels at sea in federal waters presents one of the highest risks. for the public and our environment and must be one of the first sources that are completely eliminated, ”said Lowenthal. “Congress must take action to make this happen as quickly as possible to avoid these recurring environmental disasters, including passing the West Coast Ocean Protection Act to permanently ban oil and gas drilling in federal waters off the coast. from California, Oregon and Washington. ”

Representatives Young Kim, R-Placentia and Michelle Steel, R-Huntington Beach, did not respond to messages requesting their position on the matter.

Correa carried out an air tour of the area with Coast Guard officials on Tuesday and said he was having trouble seeing the oil spill.

“I was literally hooked up to the back of a C-26 cargo plane … and it’s very hard to see, very hard to understand with the naked eye, but if you have satellites with the means to pick it up, you can pick it up pretty quickly, ”Correa told CNS.

He said he was returning from a discussion with Coast Guard officials convinced that satellite technology should be used more to prevent oil leaks.

“There are now more satellites begging you to buy their data,” Correa said. But in the long run, “I think it’s time we stopped it,” Correa said of offshore drilling.

“You have to do a cost-benefit analysis,” he said. “When we have a break like this, it affects the fishing, it affects the food, the tourism, the damage to the environment, and these are great things in our society.”

He added that the state’s beaches “are great tourist attractions. You close that, it’s huge dollars.

“You can be energy independent and continue to drill, but not at sea,” he added. “Clearly, this accident shows how vulnerable we are to system disruptions. “

Correa said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic there was a lot more sea traffic, which may have contributed to the leak in some way.

“Our seaports are inundated with ships,” he said. “They can’t be unloaded fast enough, so there is more traffic in the area. “

Federal investigators have suggested that a freighter’s anchor may have dragged the pipeline, severing it.

“I suspect there are so many ships out there… these things are going to happen,” Correa said. “So, unexpectedly, COVID has (maybe) another victim here.”

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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