Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, May 14, 2018


Kristen Monsell, Center for Biological Diversity, (914) 806-3467,
Sharon Broberg, 350SB, (805) 455-2558,

Offshore Drilling Opponents Rally at Southern California Town Hall on Platform, Wells Deserted by Venoco

GOLETA, Calif.— Opponents of offshore oil drilling will hold a rally before today’s town hall meeting on the status of Platform Holly and other offshore drilling infrastructure deserted by Venoco, LLC as it filed for bankruptcy protection. The California State Lands Commission meeting will be preceded by a rally by 350 Santa Barbara, and co-sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and Food and Water Watch.

Platform Holly and the Elwood Onshore Processing Facility were idled following the 2015 failure of an onshore pipeline near Refugio State Beach. That massive oil spill fouled local beaches and killed hundreds of marine mammals and birds. The company responsible for the spill, Plains All American Pipeline, is currently seeking permits from Santa Barbara County and state agencies to rebuild the pipeline.

The commission meeting will update community members about efforts to plug and abandon oil and gas wells at Platform Holly and Pier 421, which Venoco also owned, and begin the decommissioning process for these facilities. Commission staff will also provide an update on Venoco’s bankruptcy proceedings and the Ellwood Onshore Processing Facility.

The California Legislature is now considering a $108 million expenditure to secure Platform Holly and another nearby offshore oil platform also abandoned by its owner, Rincon Island LLC, as it sought bankruptcy protection.       

What: Rally for a clean energy future before the California State Lands Commission meeting on “Platform Holly, Piers 421, and Elwood Onshore Processing Facility Decommissioning Update.”

When: Monday, May 14. Rally at 5:30 p.m., town hall meeting 6-8 p.m.

Where: Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Street #B, Goleta.

Who: The rally is supported by 350 Santa Barbara, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch and concerned Santa Barbara County residents.

"Today's Venoco hearing highlights how oil companies take the profits from our coast and public lands and leave us with the toxic mess,” said Sharon Broberg of 350SB. “When we taxpayers have to dig deep for money for cleanup, that means we have less to spend on things like parks, schools and healthcare. It just shows, it's time to move to renewable energy."

“Californians are sick of oil spills and irresponsible fossil fuel companies. We want the aging oil platforms and pipelines off our coast shut down for good,” said Kristen Monsell, ocean program legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Rebuilding the Plains All American pipeline so oil companies can suck even more oil out of our ocean would threaten wildlife and coastal communities for generations to come. Californians want clean energy and climate action, not more dirty and dangerous drilling.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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