Representative Michelle Steel visiting the Talbert Marsh on October 4th.

Two weeks ago, roughly 130,000 gallons of oil spilled onto the coast of Southern California. Since this disastrous event, Representative Michelle Steel took proactive measures to stand up to Congress and President Biden to provide aid for our California community and take steps to prevent future oil spills. 

Not only did the oil spill destroy wildlife and the coast, but it also revealed something more concerning- energy inefficiency. A low-pressure alarm went off at 2:30 a.m. on October 2nd, yet Amplify Energy Company/Beta Offshore did not shut off the pipe until 6:01 a.m. It took Amplify an additional three hours to report the spill to the National Response Center. There is no reason it should take three hours to detect a broken pipe and report it to our Coast Guard. Amplify Energy spent the past three years conducting training in preparation for a spill, yet their inadequate emergency response demonstrates the lack of efficiency of our energy services.

Since this environmental disaster occurred earlier this month, Representative Steel remains at the forefront of California politics demanding answers from Amplify Energy and seeking relief from the Federal Government.

On October 12th, the Representative proposed the SHIP Act to ban cargo ships from idling or anchoring within 20 miles off Orange County’s coast for the next 180 days. A cargo ship’s anchor may have caused the oil spill, and the Representative prioritizes opening the ports again and moving the ships out of Orange County’s water.

Steel further addressed President Biden demanding a federal investigation against Amplify Energy to see if they breached their Congressionally mandated emergency response programs and notification services. Steel urges the President and the Federal Government to take note of the recent tragedy and hold Amplify and all those involved in the recent oil spill accountable for damage and prevent a similar incident from arising in the future.

To prevent another oil spill, the Representative released a statement on October 14th requesting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Coast Guard re-examine the nautical charts near oil pipelines off the coast of OC and assure these maps remain accurate to prevent future spills.

The last thing Orange County needs is another environmental disaster. Our leaders must develop strategies and promote more efficient governmental systems to prevent future catastrophes from occurring.

Representative Steel continues to monitor the oil spill and remains proactive in holding our government accountable for the oil spill. As a fighter for California taxpayers, Steel prepares to fight for more efficient government institutions and hold our government and local leaders responsible for the oil spill.

Sarah Evleth is a resident of Huntington Beach, CA. Sarah recently graduated from UC Riverside with a degree in Political Science and Public Service. She is currently pursuing her Juris Doctorate at Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.

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