Statement: Students call for an end to dangerous offshore oil-drilling after massive oil spill off Southern California coast threatens wildlife

Press Release |

Megan Bart, Organizing Director, CALPIRG Students
[email protected], (248) 227-4111

Tabitha Turner, CALPIRG Chapter Chair and 100% Clean Energy Campaign Coordinator at UC Irvine
[email protected], (925) 518-6433


ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — Early Saturday morning, an oil spill was discovered about 5 miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, California. The leak originated from a pipeline now owned by the Houston-based oil and gas company Amplify Energy, but was formerly owned by Shell Oil. Amplify Energy has had a history of violations and noncompliance reports under the federal government. Officials now estimate that between 126,000 and 144,000 gallons of oil have spilled into the ocean. The spill now has reached the Santa Ana River Trail, the Talbert Marshlands, and Crystal Cove, and impacted birds and fish have been seen washing up on the coast.

CALPIRG Students Chapter Chair at UC Irvine, Tabitha Turner, issued the following statement:

“It’s devastating to see the oil spill right in our backyard at Huntington Beach and the Talbert Marsh. We’re used to seeing a myriad of wildlife in the area, from blue herons to the endangered Ridgway’s Rail marsh bird, and of course the dolphins offshore. Unfortunately, this is just another example that if we drill, we spill.”

CALPIRG Students State Board Chair and 100% Clean Energy campaign coordinator Ria Coen Gilbert issued the following statement:

“It’s hard to believe that more than 50 years after the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, we still need to call for an end to oil drilling and demand polluter accountability and stronger penalties for fossil fuel companies. The 1969 oil spill spurred activists to call for stronger environmental protections. This time, students are calling for an end to dangerous drilling once and for all.

“We need state leaders to speed up California’s transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy economy-wide and put an end to oil drilling that pollutes our waters and harms wildlife. Let’s make my generation the last to experience devastating oil spills.” 

CALPIRG Students chapters call for an end to oil drilling during statewide “Human Oil Spill” Day of Action in February 2020 (Photo taken before social distancing due to COVID-19).



CALPIRG Students is a statewide student-run organization that works to protect the environment, promote civic engagement, and make college more affordable. Visit us at