Expert: Cargo Ship Buildup off L.A. May Have Caused California Oil Spill

Expert: Cargo Ship Buildup off L.A. May Have Caused California Oil Spill

An expert says that the ongoing cargo ship buildup off the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach may have contributed to the oil spill in Huntington Beach by causing ships to anchor where they are not used to doing so, in spite of nearby pipelines.

Over the weekend, an offshore pipeline leaked some 126,000 gallons of oil, causing a spill that is washing up on nearby beaches and threatening local wildlife. Authorities say that a ship’s anchor may have been the cause of the accident.

A person stands near oil washed up on Huntington State Beach after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on October 3, 2021 in Huntington Beach, California. The spill forced the closure of the popular Great Pacific Airshow with authorities urging people to avoid beaches in the vicinity. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A person stands near oil washed up on Huntington State Beach after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on October 3, 2021 in Huntington Beach, California. The spill forced the closure of the popular Great Pacific Airshow with authorities urging people to avoid beaches in the vicinity. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the ongoing traffic jam outside California’s post continues, as a result of increased import demand and other factors, including a shortage of trucking and warehouse space, and the reluctance of dock workers to work night shifts.

One expert quoted by the Los Angeles Times says that may have contributed to the accident, if it was indeed the cause:

The electronic charts that are used by captains of commercial ships show all the known underwater hazards to avoid, such as internet cables, power lines and pipelines, said Steven D. Browne, a professor of marine transportation at California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo.

“As the captain is choosing a place to drop the anchor, the chart should be examined very carefully to make sure that it is a safe area,” Browne said. “It’s certainly a point of concern for a ship’s captain approaching an anchorage is, is it safe to drop the anchor at this particular spot?”

Browne said he isn’t familiar with specifics of the system at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, such as how offshore anchorages are handled.

“I imagine with the congestion of ships waiting to get into L.A.-Long Beach, that ships are anchoring in places that they don’t usually do so, further off the coast. So perhaps that is related to this incident, if that is what happened,” Browne said.

Democrats are calling for an end to all offshore drilling in the state, even though the oil-rich state already imports oil from external sources, 60% of which are overseas, and despite the proliferation of “green” policies in the past two decades.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Joel B. Pollak