California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) on Monday announced that he would be opening an investigation into the Southern California oil spill that shut down miles of beaches in Orange County for several days.
According to Bonta's office, the investigation will be looking into whether anything could have been done to prevent or minimize the 126,000-gallon oil spill.
“The oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach is an environmental disaster with far-reaching consequences for our fish and wildlife, for our communities, and for our economy,” Bonta said in a statement.
The oil spill originated from a damaged pipeline run by Houston-based firm Amplify Energy. Officials and company executives have said that a ship's anchor damaging the pipeline is one cause that they are looking into.
“I want to thank all our local, state, and federal partners who are working around the clock to protect the health and safety of Californians and to mitigate the damage to our environment and natural resources," he said. "In times of crisis, it takes all of us – working together – to get the job done. My office is committed to devoting the people and the resources necessary to ensure this environmental disaster is fully investigated, and we will follow the facts wherever they lead us.”
Sen. Alex PadillaAlex PadillaSenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents GOP blocks Senate Democrats' revised elections bill Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program MORE (D-Calif.) accompanied Bonta to Orange County on Monday for a briefing on the response to the oil spill.
“The trade-off between oil production and environmental harm is simply not one we should be making any longer, especially given how fossil fuel emissions are exacerbating the climate crisis," Padilla said, calling the effects of the oil spill "unacceptable."
Last week, the first lawsuit stemming from the oil spill was filed against Amplify Energy. A California DJ, Peter Moses Gutierrez Jr., accused the company of negligence and of negatively affecting his beach-based business as well as his health as an Orange County resident. The suit is seeking class-action status.