A recent event out of Huntington Beach headlined some of the largest news outlets in the world this week. When most people see this they’re first thought is the surfing competition, a newly passed law, or even a shark attack. No one expected the story to be one of the largest oil spills in the history of the United States. Though this accident was no Deepwater horizon it still had a large impact on Southern California. Several beaches closed as well as the long-awaited air show that thousands of viewers could usually be seen crowding the sand trying to experience. The spill also had a variety of environmental effects. Though the efforts to clean up the oil are all hands on deck, still over 80 birds and countless fish have been affected by the oil due to it spreading from smaller baitfish to the larger fish and birds. The efforts to clean the oil have so far been effective in keeping it away from major kelp forests which are already on the ropes from the invasion of sea urchins, and out of the extremely delicate estuaries and wetlands that house a multitude of species of endangered animals. This whole fiasco was the cause of a 13 inch crack in a pipeline on an oil rig. The crack that officials state may have started in 2020 leaked over 25,000 gallons or 588 barrels of crude oil into the Pacific. The crack was likely to cause by the anchor of a ship dragging along the bottom and making contact with the pipe. It is estimated that a small surface-level crack was created sometime after the October 13th inspection of the pipe by a large strike from an anchor which later got worse and worse until it started leaking. The culprit was likely one of the hundreds of cargo ships sitting outside of the Port of Long Beach waiting to be unloaded for months. The nearly 30-ton anchors customary on such ships would have been more than enough to dent or crack the pipeline even if it had just brushed it. We somewhat lucked out however because if the pipeline was fully severed there could have been millions of gallons of oil floating around in the water right now. It goes to show the cruel environmental disadvantages of oil and why switching to electricity is so necessary for the survival of our planet.
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