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Anniversary Of 1969 Santa Barbara Channel Oil Spill Inspires Proposal To Ban New Oil And Gas Leases

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January 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the massive 1969 Santa Barbara Channel oil spill, and a Santa Barbara Congressman is commemorating it by introducing new legislation intended to protect the coastline.  HR 279 calls for a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters off the coast of California. 

The bill by Democratic Congressman Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara is co-sponsored by more than 40 members of California’s congressional delegation. It’s part of a package of bills introduced by Democrats intended to block new oil and gas drilling off the U.S. coastline.

Numerous past efforts to create a permanent ban have failed to get needed support to succeed. The Trump Administration has announced plans to try to re-open much of the nation’s coastline to new oil and gas leasing.

The 1969 spill led to more than 80,000 barrels of oil ending up in the ocean, blackening beaches from Goleta to Ventura. It sparked the modern day environmental movement, including the creating of Earth Day.