PHOTOS: Oil Spill in Huntington Beach Threatens Coastline, Wildlife

PHOTOS: Oil Spill in Huntington Beach Threatens Coastline, Wildlife

Crews in Huntington Beach are scrambling to contain the damage after an offshore pipeline leaked over 126,000 of crude oil into the ocean, creating a slick that is washing up along the shore on one of Orange County’s most famous beaches.

Huntington Beach oil slick (David McNew / AFP / Getty)

TOPSHOT – Oil floats in the water of the Talbert Marshlands as a 3,000-barrel oil spill, about 126,000 gallons, from an offshore oil rig reaches the shore and sensitive wildlife habitats in Newport Beach, California on October 3, 2021. – Authorities in California’s beachfront Orange County cities scrambled October 3, 2021 to mitigate the fallout from a major oil spill off the coast that caused “substantial ecological impacts.” As of Sunday, the oil plume from the 126,000-gallon (480,000 liters) spill of post-production crude was an estimated 5.8 nautical miles (6.7 miles, 10 kilometers) long and stretched along the popular shorelines of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, Huntington Beach city authorities said in a statement. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

The exact cause of the spill is unknown. Locals had already noticed a smell of oil by Friday. Hope that the oil slick could be kept off the beaches was dashed on Saturday night, when the beaches were closed and a local air show was canceled.

Huntington Beach closed (Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

A posted sign warning about water contact may cause illness is posted by life guards after an oil spill in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. Vessels with the Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) vessel, background, an oil spill removal organization (OSRO), deploy floating barriers around the largest oil spills in recent Southern California history fouled popular beaches and killed wildlife while crews scrambled Sunday to contain the crude before it spread further into protected wetlands. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The pipeline is connected to an offshore platform called Elly, the Los Angeles Timesreported. The platform operates in the Beta Field, which is a large offshore oil field that is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Huntington Beach oil spill (Mario Tama / Getty)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 03: Oil is 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)

The spill is the largest in California in decades, and comes as Democrats and environmentalists are pushing to phase out the oil industry in the state. Those who defend the industry note California is importing oil from elsewhere as it shuts down local production.

Huntington Beach oil spill cleanup (Ringo H. W. Chiu / Associated Press)

Cleanup contractors deploy skimmers and floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further oil crude incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

A major oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969 changed public attitudes toward offshore oil development, making many coastal states reluctant to allow the activity in their waters, despite improvements that make spills less likely and easier to clean.

Huntington Beach oil perspective (Mario Tama / Getty)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 03: 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)

It is unknown whether the leak that cause the spill has been fixed, and what the effect on wildlife will be. Local authorities are working hard to minimize damage to local wetlands. Whales, dolphins, and other migratory species abound in the area.

Huntingon Beach sign (Mario Tama / Getty)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 03: Cleanup workers (R) attempt to contain oil which seeped into Talbert Marsh, which is home to around 90 bird species, 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)

Huntington Beach is known as one of the last conservative bastions in the state and one of few Republican areas along the coast. Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA) has written to President Joe Biden asking him to issue a federal disaster declaration.

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