Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), whose district includes Long Beach, CA and parts of Orange County, CA, today issued the following statement regarding a major oil spill off the coast of Orange County:
“This oil spill off the coast of Orange County is as tragic as it was preventable. This environmental catastrophe highlights the simple fact that where you drill, you spill. As we are sadly witnessing, when you drill along the coast, when you pipe that oil ashore, our coastlines will bear the brunt of the impacts from such spills.
“This will be devastating not only to our marine wildlife and ecosystem, but also to the livelihoods of our coastal communities which are built around fishing, tourism, and recreation. As long as these platforms and pipelines remain, our coastal communities remain under threat from potential disasters like we are now seeing. I have, and continue to, fight in Congress to prevent any future drilling in federal waters along our coasts, and we must recognize the will of coastal communities that their coastlines are off limits and will not be sacrificed to the fossil fuel industry.
“There is no doubt that the cleanup of this disaster will take time, but the cost should not be brunt on the shoulders of the taxpayers–the industrial polluters must bear the cost to cleanup, rebuild destroyed habitats, loss of wildlife, and any economic loss associated with this event.
“In May, I co-sponsored the North Pacific Ocean Protection Act, and the American Coasts and Oceans Protection Act, which together would stop future drilling off of the Pacific Coast.
“We must once and for all take steps to prevent these events from happening again along our coastline. We must ensure there is no future offshore oil development or production off in federal waters California’s coasts and all existing offshore operations must be phased out immediately.”