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Snooth User: JonDerry

Santa Barbara Coast Oil Leak

Posted by JonDerry, May 20, 2015.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news...some 21,000 gallons estimated to have leaked near Goleta.

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Reply by Really Big Al, May 20, 2015.

That really sucks.  You know that pipelines are going to leak or break at some point in the future.  You would think we would develop automated systems to shut it down when a pressure drop is detected.  Also, self-sealing pipes or multi-walled pipes might be developed or used to give an added measure of safety.

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Reply by dmcker, May 20, 2015.

"It is horrible," said Brett Connors, 35, a producer from Santa Monica who said he spotted sea lions swimming in the oil slick. "You want to jump in there and save them."

Yes.

 

Well that blows (possible pun intended). Refugio's a great beach. Have camped there, and enjoyed a multitude of ocean sports nearby, on many, many occasions.

Fortunately it is 'only' a pipeline leak. Volume is nothing like the platform blowout a bit south of there back in the '60s.

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Reply by JonDerry, May 20, 2015.

True, hopefully they can learn from this and prevent future leaks.

We were just talking at my HOA board meeting last night how tax dollars used to go to infrastructure first, now it's an after thought.

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Reply by JonDerry, May 21, 2015.

Unfortunately, the leak wound up being 5 x bigger than first reported, so we're up over 100,000 gallons. 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 21, 2015.

Doing my part, or trying to, by putting a solar roof on the house this year.  We already drive less than 10k miles a year on our one car and we grow food and buy directly at farmer's markets from local suppliers when we can.  (Then I fly to Italy, buy wine from France, and on and on...) But we all have a long way to go to cut down our dependence on oil, and I doubt we can ever be completely free of it--it's in plastics, textiles, fertilizers, and so many places you don't even realize.  Most people have no idea the role it plays in agriculture, including (especially) the meat we eat.  Feedlots use corn, which takes huge fertilizer inputs, and of course the machinery to grow and harvest the corn. Michael Pollan noted that a vegetarian with a Hummer has a smaller carbon footprint than a meat eater with a Prius. 

Even a small spill will have huge effects on the marine life.  The pipeline company lied about the magnitude of the spill?  No shock there, they always do.  Frankly, uranium belongs in the ground, and wells do not belong offshore, IMO.  Bad enough when tankers spill, but it's finite.  Pipelines and platforms are just hugely risky.  Time to re-think dramatically our standards--golf courses in the desert, suburban sprawl and overconsumption aren't sustainable.

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Reply by EMark, May 21, 2015.

The pipe that leaked this time is actuall on-shore, not off-shore.  Not sure that's any consolation..

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Reply by dmcker, May 21, 2015.

"Unfortunately, the leak wound up being 5 x bigger than first reported, so we're up over 100,000 gallons."

Still a relatively 'small' one. Though I can unfortunately picture exactly what it's doing to that coast I grew up on. One where a lot of current environmental advocacy was given birth back when.

Will be interesting to see how civil suits evolve.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 21, 2015.

Emark, I should have read the article.  That said, there have been so many oil platform and pipeline leaks in the ocean, where the results are so much more catastrophic, that I stand by my point.  Plain and simple, we need to move away from fossil fuels for a host of reasons.

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Reply by EMark, May 22, 2015.

I wasn't arguing your point, Fox.  Once again I did not express my thoughts very well.  Believe me, we are on the same page.  In fact I had written a fairly lengthy diatribe which, pretty much, agreed with the sentiments of the posts in this conversation.  On re-read I decided that it was much too emotional.  So, I cut it down to the couple sentences.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 22, 2015.

No worries, Mark, I didn't express myself well, either.  I should have read the article.  And I don't see anyone on here being in favor of oil leaks, and, in general, we all would prefer to indulge in wine and not fossil fuels.  It was I who didn't express myself very well--not you. Of course, I'm going to be a big hypocrite this weekend and grill up a ton of meat when my family comes over on Sunday, but it's all going to be pasture raised and the fuel will be wood pruned from the yard (and a little hardwood charcoal of the lump and briquette varieties). 

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Reply by dmcker, May 22, 2015.

Bring on the diatribes, Mark--they make the discussion much more interesting, and real. These boards have been a bit stale of late...    ;-)

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Reply by zufrieden, May 22, 2015.

A spill occurred on this beach in 1969.  It was coincident with a rise in environmental awareness and led to a spike in the "green" movement.

Which direction is that spike today, I wonder?  Personally, if I lived in the Santa Barbara area, I would be devastated.  As some people have suggested, there is no technological reason for such a spill.  But there is a financial one.

Drink a glass of your finest tonight and consider your ways.

 

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Reply by Wineogre, May 22, 2015.

And our politicians weakened the Renewal Energy Target and want to dig up enough coal, that when burned will raise the whole Earth's temperature by a degree Celsius! And give an oil  company rights to offshore drill in a whale sanctuary in the Great Australian Bight!
Morris Gleitzman, of childrens' book fame, wrote a tongue in cheek article about the consequences of global warming on winemaking, imagining drinking a hot climate shiraz from Tasmania in 2050 (sorry can't find the link, it is in Australian Gourmet Traveler Wine somewhere.) We have solar at home and at work, recycle, don't use air conditioner at home, only burn wood in our combustion heater during our short winter, and my eldest son is an environmental manager who is rehabilitating scrub and planting trees to offset the whole world's carbon footprint. He planted 2 grapevines for me, even though we are in too coastal, and too hot, an area to make great wine, or possibly wine at all. I'll report back in 20 years if it succeeds.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 27, 2015.

WIneogre, you are obviously well versed on the topic, and welcome to the forum--stick around and share your wisdom.  Your efforts are appreciated.  Sadly, to make a difference we need political will to require the capture of all these efficiencies and to eliminate (or price and assess) the inefficiencies, i.e., external costs.  Alas, the "conservatives" seem to ignore the founding text of their economic system, Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations," or they would understand that even the most zealous "free market" advocate cannot logically allow the costs of one party's economic activity to be born by others.

Zuf, you nailed that.  Eloquently said.  For the most part, winegrowers and wine drinkers continue to deepen their commitment to stewardship.  Sadly, when it's a fad, people tire of being "enviro," but when it's a habit, one hardly feels any effort.  How we make that change is the question, one which our very existence may depend on. 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 27, 2015.

BTW, RBA, apparently the pipeline was exempted from state requirements that it have an automatic shutoff feature because the corporate owner argued that, because it was capable of transporting oil from out of state, it was covered by federal law which did not require same.  Talk about a loophole! 

Exempt from state laws, but who pays?  Californians who use the beaches. 

"I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

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Reply by dmcker, May 27, 2015.

So I take it you're a Reich fan, Fox? Looking at that statement of his and its context might generate more interest than we've seen about wine-related matters on these boards recently.  ;-)

If his argument were to carry the day in an activist California court who also would be aiming at sending things on to the Supremes, who might be jailed (or bankrupted), the CEO, Chief Counsel, Board of Directors, chief of maintenance however titled or.... for that too-cute footwork by that corporation? Certainly would introduce a 'fear of the lord' element into the dialog.


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