Oil Demand, Climate Change Conflicts in California’s Pipeline Program

Los Angeles – Proposals to replace the oil pipeline closed in 2015 after causing the worst coastal spill in California in 25 years, despite the state’s heading towards a ban on gas-powered vehicles and oil drilling, the government I’m at a loss through my review.

Consideration of the $ 300 million proposal by the Houston-based Planes All-American pipeline will be important next year as new scrutiny of the state’s oil industry follows the October offshore pipeline disruption near Huntington Beach. It is expected to enter the stage. The rupture released at least 25,000 gallons (94,635 liters) of crude oil, closed beaches and caused fatal sacrifices to marine life along one of the world’s legendary surf breaks.

Further north, the 123-mile (198 km) planes pipeline travels along the coastline near Santa Barbara, turning inland. Up to Kern County in the center of the state, most of its length is buried and almost invisible. For decades, it has been an important link between offshore oil platforms and coastal processing plants, with an average daily shipment of 1.8 million gallons (6.9 million liters).


US Senator Alex Padilla of the Democratic Party of California opposes the proposal and frankly warns of future risks.

“We have seen many times how offshore oil spills can hurt not only coastal ecosystems, but also outdoor recreation and the tourism economy,” Padilla said in a statement. “You should not risk repeating history by rebuilding or restarting the planes pipeline.”

Planes spokesman Brad Leone said the company safely shipped 90 billion gallons (341 billion liters) across North America last year. “Plains is committed to designing, building and maintaining these lines in a safe and reliable way,” he said.

The project faces a number of hurdles, including a federal class action lawsuit from real estate owners alleging that Planes lacks the right to use existing easements in its new pipeline. Barry Capello, the chief lawyer for the trial, said the project destroyed vineyards and coastal ranches and “our clients never signed up for it.”


Shon Hitt, an associate professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall Business School, said the company’s motive for reviving the pipeline was clear.

“They make money with it,” Hyatt said. “Oil prices will not go down.”

He said the cost of a barrel of oil could exceed $ 100 next year. It’s about $ 77 now.

According to a document submitted by Planes to Santa Barbara County, the replaced pipeline could travel up to approximately 1.7 million gallons (6.3 million liters) per day, albeit smaller than its predecessor. At current prices, pipelines are often not at full capacity, but that amount of oil is worth more than $ 3 million a day, or potentially more than $ 1 billion a year.

Oil has been drilled in California since the 19th century, but this project is being discussed because the state considers the history of fossil fuels. Climate change has exacerbated the threat of wildfires, droughts and tides, and the state has become a global leader in renewable energy and pioneering policies aimed at slowing global warming. It has been established.


California itself is the world’s fifth-largest economy, banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicles and trucks by 2035 and planning to end oil production in 10 years. A recent outflow at Huntington Beach called for stopping all drilling off the coast.

The Planes pipeline will inevitably be a symbol of that conflict. There is a growing desire for oil to fuel cars, warm buildings, make plastics, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Biden administration, which recently auctioned huge oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, faces the same dilemma.

California’s oil and gas industry directly and indirectly supports more than 365,000 jobs and annual production of more than $ 150 billion. This is estimated by one survey of 2017 data. Nationally, the industry supported approximately 17 million jobs in 2020, according to a report from the Texas Independent Producers and Royaly Owners Association, an industry group. California has about 75,000 jobs and is ranked second in direct industrial employment, but is far behind Texas, the United States’ leading producer with nearly 350,000 jobs. ..


Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom talked about the economic challenges of retiring the industry, despite promoting a more environmentally friendly future for the state. His office refused to comment on the Planes project and said it was being considered by a government agency.

Environmentalists have pointed out the risk of spills and the threat of earthquakes in discussions against the new line.

California is known as the birthplace of modern environmental movements, and the basin event was a major outflow off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969. Despite its history and move to green energy, the New Sam administration has resisted taking a strong stance on new fossil fuel projects, saying that the Biodiversity Center of Biodiversity Center, an environmental group that opposes the Plains pipeline. Senior lawyer Julie Tyr Simmons said.

She said the state’s decision on the project was “an opportunity for California to proceed with discussions” on the withdrawal from oil.


The Planes pipeline was last used on May 19, 2015, bursting a corroded portion of the ground west of Santa Barbara, sending 140,000 gallons (529,957 liters) of oil to the state’s beaches and oceans. ..

Federal inspectors shut down Planes operators working in a Texas control room more than 1,000 miles (1,609 km) away, turning off alarms that signal leaks and unaware that a spill had occurred. Later it was discovered that the bleeding line had resumed.

Hirano apologized for the spill and paid for purification. Plains was later fined more than $ 3 million. The cost of cleanup is $ 100 million, and the company reported in 2017 that the cost of the outflow is estimated to be $ 335 million and does not include revenue losses.

An important step in the proposed pipeline review-a complex environmental survey conducted by Santa Barbara County-is expected by spring. Approximately 12 federal, state, and local agencies are involved in the review of this project, which was first proposed in 2017.


It mainly meanders along existing routes. The new line (technically two connected pipelines, like its predecessor) crosses environmentally sensitive areas such as the Carrizo Plain National Monument and the Los Padres National Forest slices.

The three ExxonMobil platforms that depended on the line since the spill have been shut down. ExxonMobil has proposed establishing an interim trucking route for transporting oil. This will allow the dormant offshore platform to resume production. In a split vote in early November, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission urged county supervisors to reject the company’s proposal.

“Until the pipeline is available, trucking is the only option to bring crude oil to market,” ExxonMobil spokeswoman Julie L. King said in a statement.

Environmental groups warn that decades-old platforms pose a different risk than equipment aging. According to ExxonMobil, the platform remains “safe and saved” while it is shut down.


Another problem is that existing routes and their alternatives pass through many areas at risk of earthquakes. According to a consultant survey conducted in the plain, the pipeline will cross 10 active faults and 12 fingers of the active faults.

“Some parts of the pipeline can be exposed to severe earthquake tremors, and in some areas surface ruptures can occur in the event of a major earthquake,” the study found and a protective form. Recommended safety procedures, including covering the line with.

Bob Nelson, chair of the Santa Barbara County Supervisory Board, said he would wait for a detailed environmental report next year before making a decision, but was encouraged by what he had seen so far. He said Planes may have tried to repair an existing pipeline, but instead wants a new line built to the latest safety standards.

“That means work,” Nelson said. As the demand for oil continues, even as the country shifts from fossil fuels, “I think we must find a way to deliver oil safely in an environmentally friendly way.”

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Oil Demand, Climate Change Conflicts in California’s Pipeline Program

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