Podcast: Oil Spill Along California’s Fragile Coast

It’s been about a week since a major oil spill hit the southern California coastline near Orange County. Tar blotted sensitive wetlands. The birds and the fish died. Miles of beaches were closed. The Los Angeles Times newsroom has produced dozens of stories trying to make sense of what happened, and what we’ve found so far isn’t pretty: old oil rigs and offshore pipelines — being bought by companies with a history of safety violations.

Today, we talk to Los Angeles Times investigative reporter Connor Sheets about the causes of the so-called Huntington Beach oil spill. An environmental activist described what she found when visiting offshore drilling rigs in Southern California in 2018.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: Connor Sheets, investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times and director of the Oceans Program at the Center for Biodiversity Miyoko Sakashita

Further reading:

Full coverage: What to know about the Huntington Beach oil spill

California attorney general begins investigation into the oil spill in Orange County

Federal regulation of oil rigs ran into problems long before the crude oil spill

How much will it cost to close an offshore oil well? Who pays?

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