Vast energy resources are available off the California coast
The Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted
in questions about the safety of oil development off the coast of California.
WSPA recognizes the need to learn from that accident to ensure the petroleum industry is operating in the safest manner possible. We continue to believe California businesses and consumers
would benefit from development of the huge reserves of petroleum off
the California coast, in both state and federal waters.
The record of safety established by offshore operators in California
over the past 40 years has been excellent. But we recognize an incident
on the scale of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico accident is going
to influence the public policy debate on offshore oil.
We don’t yet know what caused the accident in the Gulf of Mexico and
whether or not there are any lessons to be learned that are applicable
to the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf where most offshore oil
production in California takes place today. We are waiting for the
investigations to be completed.
The petroleum industry on the West Coast has demonstrated a very high
level of sensitivity to environmental issues associated with operating
in a marine environment. We are committed to constant improvement in
According to the U.S. Minerals Management Service, in the past 40 years,
more than 1 billion barrels of oil have been produced off the coast of
California. During that time, less than 850 barrels of oil have been
accidentally spilled into the ocean.
California is one of the largest consumers of petroleum based fuels in
the world. In fact, our economy and lifestyles depend on oil.
The platforms off the California coast produce approximately 36 million
barrels of oil per year – about 15 percent of our in-state petroleum
production. Without those important sources of energy, we would need to
import more crude oil in tankers. In many cases, that oil comes from
less stable foreign sources and with resultant adverse economic
consequences for California consumers.
Oil exploration and production in California ranks among the most
closely regulated activities in the world. There are literally hundreds
of laws and regulations that govern petroleum industry activities in
More importantly, though, is the fact that the men and women who work in
the industry are committed to doing everything they can to ensure that
workers, near-by communities and the environment are protected.
has produced a compelling documentary on the oil seeps that put huge amounts of crude oil and natural gas into the oceans near Santa Barbara. The documentary is titled "A Crude Reality."
SOS California is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of natural gas and oil seep pollution on our ocean, our beaches, and our air quality, through education and awareness. The organization's goal is to alert the public to the magnitude of natural seep pollution in the Santa Barbara Channel, and to the availability of an invaluable resource to fund environmental cleanup and develop alternative energy sources.
For more information, please visit www.soscalifornia.org/
A Crude Reality