Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, February 26, 2019

Contacts:  Blake Kopcho, Center for Biological Diversity, (805) 708-, 3435,
Andrew Christie, Sierra Club (SLO), (805) 543-8717,
Katie Davis, Sierra Club (SB), (805) 451-4574,

Plains Pipeline to Be Opposed at Rallies in Santa Barbara, Arroyo Grande

Company Behind 2015 Refugio Oil Spill Seeks to Restart Offshore Drilling

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Opponents of Plains All American Pipeline’s proposal to build a coastal oil pipeline to serve offshore drilling platforms will rally outside two public hearings on the project this week. Santa Barbara County is holding environmental scoping hearings on Wednesday in Santa Barbara and Thursday in San Luis Obispo County, which would also be threatened by the pipeline. 

The new pipeline would follow the same general route as Plains’ Line 901, the severely corroded pipeline that failed in 2015, causing a large coastal oil spill and idling the offshore platforms it served. A Santa Barbara jury last year found Plains criminally liable for that oil spill near Refugio State Beach and the hundreds of marine mammals and birds that were coated with oil and died.

“We’re sending the message that Plains Pipeline doesn’t deserve a second chance to spill oil on California’s coast,” said Blake Kopcho, an oceans campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity. “This project would bring dirty and dangerous offshore drilling back to life. Oil spills are dire threats to coastal communities and wildlife.”

What: Opponents to rally against Plains Pipeline project before a pair of environmental scoping hearings.

When and Where: Wednesday, February 27, outside Santa Barbara County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara. Rally at 5:30 p.m.; hearing starts at 6 p.m. in Board of Supervisors Hearing Room.

Thursday, February 28, outside South County Regional Center, 800 West Branch St., Arroyo Grande. Rally at 5 p.m.; hearing at 6 p.m.

Who: Groups opposing the project include the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch,, Wishtoyo Foundation, CALPIRG and Sunrise Movement.

Oil pipelines regularly fail in California. Federal data shows there were 707 hazardous liquid pipeline incidents in California since 1986; these incidents killed nine people and spilled almost 9.5 million gallons of oil and other hazardous liquids. A Center analysis of federal pipeline data found pipeline failures are most common after 30 years or shortly after they’re completed, as a result of faulty welds and other construction-related problems.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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