October 24, 2021

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California Oil Spill Renews Call for Drilling Ban – The New York Times

2 min read

Amplify has had a tumultuous history in recent years. It was formed out of the bankruptcy of Memorial Production Partners in 2017, and in 2019 merged with Midstates Petroleum, which had filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016. Amplify shares, which had steadily climbed for most of the past year, closed down by 44 percent on Monday.

Many lawmakers from the state, a liberal stronghold, said the spill was a fresh reminder of the dangers of oil production.

Representative Ted Lieu, a Democrat from Southern California, said it was past time to end offshore oil production, as the devastation from a single spill affects a wide range of coastal lands and sensitive environmental areas. Mr. Lieu said the effects of the last spill in Refugio could be felt 125 miles south, in his congressional district, which includes coastal areas in the Los Angeles area.

“Tar balls started showing up in my district in Manhattan Beach,” Mr. Lieu said. “My view is that from what we’ve already seen along the California coast, we need to shut down all offshore drilling because it’s too dangerous.”

Paul Blank, harbor master for the city of Newport Beach, steered among moored yachts and kayakers on Monday, inspecting the beaches surrounding the waterway. The Coast Guard had ordered the entrance of Newport Harbor closed, and workers had blocked it off with booms to prevent oil from floating in.

At one cove, he pointed out flourishing sea grass and the lack of oil. Near another beach, he spotted a tern on a rock. He looked down into the clear water. He pointed out oysters that have reappeared in the harbor in recent years — a sign that the harbor water and ecosystem is as healthy as it has been in decades.

Mr. Blank was relieved the spill had been relatively contained — this time.

“I live in fear of something like this happening,” he said.

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