Congressman Lowenthal Calls For Coordinated Administration Investigation and Congressional Hearing Into Orange County Oil Spill

October 4, 2021
Press Release

Congressman Alan Lowenthal, chair of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR), is calling for a coordinated multi-agency Biden Administration investigation into the major oil spill over the weekend along the coast of Orange County, California. The Congressman, who represents Long Beach and portions of Orange County, is also planning to hold a Congressional hearing through his EMR subcommittee on the spill, its causes, and the clean-up.

The EMR subcommittee oversees House jurisdiction of domestic energy production on U.S. federal lands and waters, including offshore oil platforms and pipelines.

“It is absolutely critical that we determine the cause of this spill and determine what steps Congress can take to prevent such spills in the future,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “For far too long, the offshore drilling industry has hidden behind adhering to the bare minimum of safety measures--prioritizing profits over safety, public health and environmental protection. This has to end.”

“We must ensure that those responsible for this spill are held accountable and made to pay for the environmental disasters they have caused--not the U.S. taxpayers. The oil industry frequently shifts the costs of cleaning up their messes, either in the midst of a disaster or when they simply walk away, to the taxpayer. This too must end.”

“As we move toward a renewable energy future, and as we saw over the weekend, it is clear that offshore fossil fuel production in federal waters presents one of the greatest risks to the public and our environment and must be one of the first sources that are completely phased out. Congress must take steps to make this happen as soon as possible to prevent these recurring ecological disasters, including passing the West Coast Ocean Protection Act and the American Coasts and Ocean Protection Act to permanently ban oil and gas drilling in federal waters off the coast of California, Oregon and Washington.”