September 30, 2022

Rep. Mike Levin Statement on One-Year Anniversary of Amplify Energy’s Orange County Oil Spill

Oceanside, CA – U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) issued the following statement ahead of the one-year anniversary of Amplify Energy’s oil spill on October 1st, 2021, off the coast of Orange County:

“One year ago, our ocean and beaches were polluted with at least 25,000 gallons of crude oil as a result of the negligence and incompetence of Amplify Energy and its subsidiaries. The effects were devastating for both our environment and coastal businesses that depend on clean water and beaches to survive. This disaster underscored what we already knew: the fossil fuel companies that drill off of our coast will never put the public ahead of their profits. It is long past time to end new drilling off our coast and phase out existing drilling, because if we fail to act, it is only a matter of time before we experience another spill. And to those who argue this drilling is needed to meet the demand for oil, the facts tell a different story. According to data from the Department of Interior for 2019, the annual oil production off the coast of California was about one-third of what the nation produces in a single day. It’s a drop in the bucket in our national oil supply, but it is a disaster for our environment and our coastal economy. I’m committed to preventing more oil spills along our California coast, and I’ll keep fighting to pass my American Coasts and Oceans Protection Act.”

Several months before the oil spill, Rep. Levin introduced the American Coasts and Oceans Protection Act to prohibit any new leasing for the exploration, development, or production of oil or natural gas along the Southern California coast, from San Diego to the northern border of San Luis Obispo County.

In San Diego and Orange Counties, the ocean economy accounts for roughly $7.7 billion dollars in economic activity and sustains more than 140,000 jobs in coastal tourism and recreation. Fishing, tourism, and recreation along California’s coastline support nearly 600,000 jobs and roughly $42.3 billion in economy activity. More than 4 million gallons of oil have been released into the Pacific Ocean as a result of the 1969 Santa Barbara blowout, the 2015 Refugio Beach spill, and other leaks from oil rig and pipeline activity, affecting more than 935 square miles of ocean.