New oil slick in Long Beach has campaigners demanding environmental change statewide

"How many more oil spills and fossil fuel accidents do we need until the city and the state begins to prioritize public health and the environment?"

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Image Credit: CBS News

A new oil slick found off the coast of Alamitas Beach in Long Beach, California on Saturday shines a spotlight on the need for environmental change both city and statewide, campaigners said. The oil slick appeared near the four THUMS islands, which are artificial islands formed by five oil companies to produce tens of thousands of barrels of oil every day, according to the Sierra Club.

The cause of the spill, which the U.S. Coast Guard and Long Beach Fire Department were trying to contain this past weekend, is still unknown. It was about 200 by 300 feet large near the dock slips off of the 400 block of East Shoreline Drive, CBS News reported.

“This slick highlights the fact that fossil fuel production has no place, anywhere in California, but especially offshore and near our beaches,” Nicole Levin, Sierra Club Campaigner for Dirty Fuels, said.

This spill occurred “just over a year after the 126,000 gallon spill in Orange County—which was caused by a ship’s anchor at the port of Long Beach,” according to the Sierra Club.

“How many more oil spills and fossil fuel accidents do we need until the city and the state begins to prioritize public health and the environment?,” Levin said.

While the Long Beach Sustainable City Commission “made recommendations to ban new oil drilling and study the phase out of existing oil drilling” in January, the Long Beach City Council hasn’t acted on these recommendations, Levin said.

“Long Beach City needs to follow the lead of surrounding cities and work to phase out and clean up their oil wells as quickly as possible to protect public health and the environment,” Levin said.

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