Thank you, Nick Welsh, for your comprehensive article about our 1969 oil spill. Many residents of our county weren’t living here in 1969, and this article can educate them to the horrors of the Union Oil blowout. Will the proposed oil development in Cat Canyon contaminate the water supply or air quality? Heavens no, according to the oil company. They are all about safety.
About one year before the British Petroleum blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, BP paid lobbyists a small fortune to convince Congress that no new safety rules were necessary because they had it all under control. They actually stated, “There will never be another Santa Barbara.” Unfortunately Congress believed them and let them skate.
When BP’s “safe” well blew due to equipment malfunctioning, it was a disaster of epic proportions and economic losses; 11 oil rig workers were killed and 17 injured, 1,100 miles of shoreline were polluted, much of the ecosystem was destroyed. Now Aera Energy expects local residents and our Board of Supervisors to believe their rhetoric about the safety of oil production in Cat Canyon.
Nothing bad can possibly go wrong? No oil company can guarantee absolute safety.