Mysterious Substance Fouls California Beach

Blobby slick of tarlike substance washes ashore 100 miles south of recent oil spill  A slick of unidentified tar-like substance forced the closure of another stretch of the California coast on Wednesday as federal authorities ordered the company at the center of a spill last week to continue its efforts to clean up after the pipeline breach that poured crude oil onto a stretch of pristine shore. Los Angeles County lifeguards spotted mysterious blobs washed up on Manhattan Beach at 10 a.m. and the substance continued to wash ashore on the surf for about two hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The globs fouled a 6.8-mile stretch, according to according to ABC 7, and authorities closed the beaches as precaution. Coast Guard Cetty Officer Marshal Anderson described the small balls as oil patties to NBC Los Angeles. The fire department said investigators have collected samples and are...

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Company Whose Pipeline Burst in Santa Barbara Has Extensive Record of Safety Violations

By Meteor Blades, Daily Kos – Since 2006, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has logged more than 175 maintenance and safety violations by the company whose pipeline burst in Santa Barbara County, California, Tuesday night. That makes its rate of incidents per mile of pipe more than three times the national average, according to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times, which found only four companies with worse records. But those infractions only generated $115,600 in fines against the company, Plains All American Pipeline, even though the incidents caused more than $23 million in damage. It was initially reported that 500 barrels of oil had leaked from the broken pipe, but authorities later said the total could be in the realm of 2,500 barrels, 105,000 gallons. The leak contaminated a portion of Refugio State Beach and nearby patches of ocean. A crew from the U.S. Environmental Protection...

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California Oil Spill Five Times WORSE Than The Oil Company Thought (VIDEO)

by ELISABETH PARKER – A four-year drought seems bad enough, but now California has another problem. CNN reports an oil spill in Santa Barbara, just in time for Memorial Day. The 24-inch pipeline ruptured along the Santa Barbara coast, leaking the oil near Refugio State Beach, a protected state park, just before Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer tourist season. On Tuesday, officials from Plains All American Pipeline told reporters 21,000 gallons of oil had leaked. By Wednesday morning, their estimated total had metastasized to “as many as 105,000 gallons of crude oil,” according to CNN. Yikes, that’s five times their original total. But don’t worry: Rick McMichael, the oil company’s director of pipeline operations assures us that this is their “worst case scenario.”  Whew. Because the ruptured pipeline is underground, we won’t know what the actual damage is for several days. But we feel sure all the plants, animals and marine...

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Father Of Campus Shooting Victim: Arming College Students Is ‘A Solution From The 18th Century’

by KIRA LERNER – NASHVILLE, TN — Richard Martinez’s son Christopher was shot and killed in a campus shooting spree at the University of California Santa Barbara last May. The tragedy and Martinez’s call for “not one more” sparked a national conversation about strengthening gun control laws to prevent weapons from getting into the wrong hands. But while gun control groups have pushed for what they call common sense reforms, the National Rifle Association is attempting to move legislation forward to allow students on college campuses to carry weapons. Martinez, who knows firsthand the consequences of campus violence, told ThinkProgress these proposals will only exacerbate campus violence and incidents of sexual assault. “You ask the gun extremists what to do to reduce gun violence and they say more guns,” Martinez said. “More guns on the streets, campuses and playgrounds. That’s a solution from the 18th century, not the 21st century.”...

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