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    California Oil Spill Cleanup to Cost Millions

    California Oil Spill Cleanup Stretches On, Costing $3 Million Per Day

    © AP Photo/ Chris Carlson
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    The cost of cleaning up the massive oil spill on the Southern California coast last month has already cost a whopping $62 million dollars, and is going to cost a whole lot more - at $3 million a day and no estimate on a date for the cleanup completion.

    The spilling of up to 101,000 gallons of crude oil was caused by a pipeline break near Santa Barbara on May 19 and was the largest of its kind in 25 years.  The cause of the leak has not yet been determined, but extensive external corrosion was found along sections of the pipeline during testing in early May.

    So far, the spill has left behind 161 dead birds, 87 dead marine mammals — primarily sea lions — and another 106 animals are currently undergoing rehabilitation, the Associated Press reported.

    Approximately 97 miles of coastline were affected, prompting a fishing ban and two public beach closures.  As of Wednesday, about 76% of the area has been cleared of the crude.  Immediately following the spill nearly 1,200 people came out to take part in the cleanup effort.

    This photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department shows an oil slick from a broken pipeline off the central California coast near Santa Barbara on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department says the pipeline on the land near Refugio State Beach broke Tuesday and spilled oil into a culvert that ran beneath US 101 and into the ocean.
    © AP Photo / Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department
    Oil spill

    Local residents Josh Marsh and Morgan Miller scan the oil-covered rocks at Refugio State Beach for animals who may have been affected by the spill.
    © AFP 2019 / ROBYN BECK
    Oil spill

    Since the disaster, Democratic lawmakers in California have been pushing to halt offshore drilling. 

    “In the wake of last month’s devastating oil spill, we cannot afford to wait any longer to permanently ban new oil drilling off our coast,” Democratic Senator Mike McGuire told Fox News.

    Oil covers a local resident's boot at Refugio State Beach in Goleta, California.
    © AFP 2019 / ROBYN BECK
    Oil spill

    A bill proposed by McGuire as part of the California Climate Leadership package, comprised of a dozen bills to combat global warming, has received support from the Sierra Club, Audubon of California, California League of Conservation Voters, the Center for Climate Protection, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.  The proposal to stop the drilling has received harsh criticism from Republicans who believe it will hurt jobs.

    Plains All American Pipeline, the Texas-based oil company that owns the pipeline, will be responsible for all of the cleanup costs.


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