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For Immediate Release


Lindsay Meiman
Senior U.S. Communications Specialist
+1 347 460 9082
New York, USA

Press Release

In Wake of Catastrophic Spill, 350 Bay Area Urges Immediate Action to Stop Offshore Drilling

Oakland, CA -

At least 126,000 gallons of crude oil have been released into the waters and beaches off the coast of Orange County. As the cleanup from this catastrophic oil spill is ramped up, federal and state permits to drill continue to be issued at a steady pace, and pipelines continue to be developed and deployed. We know two things for sure: catastrophic failures from oil rigs and pipelines are common and will continue until we stop extracting, transporting, processing, and using fossil fuels. 

Laura Neish, Executive Director of 350 Bay Area, outlined the extensive damage caused by offshore oil leaks, “We can see the short-term catastrophic impacts these spills have on animals and plants in and near the water, but the damage is even more extensive than we are commonly aware of. Even a small spill fouls ocean and coastal areas for hundreds of miles, blocks the sunlight required for plankton and other ocean life, and reduces the amount of CO2 the ocean can draw down. Oil is toxic, not just killing plants and animals, but also works its way into our food. 

“These oil spills have a devastating and long-lasting impact on land and ocean ecosystems; critical and sensitive shoreline and ocean habitats can be destroyed for generations of animal and plant life,” noted Nik Evasco, 350 Bay AreaProgram Manager.

For people living near spills, the health impacts are significant, largely from exposure to the toxins that get spewed into the air, including Mercury, and benzene and other volatile organic compounds; both mercury and benzene are highly toxic and have significant long term impacts. 

In other words: Fossil fuels are killing us, from the wellhead through combustion, not just by creating escalating climate chaos, but by polluting our air, water and soil - even when things don’t go drastically wrong. And while oil spews off the coast of California, and in the Gulf of Mexico, and elsewhere, our state and federal agencies continue to issue permit after permit for more drilling.  

350 Bay Area urges action: contact your elected officials to Stop it Now! Use thishandy toolkit to take three simple actions.


350 is building a future that's just, prosperous, equitable and safe from the effects of the climate crisis. We're an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.

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