Republican Congresswoman Michelle Steel announced new federal legislation today that would no longer allow cargo ships to idle or anchor off the coast of Orange County. Investigators determine the recent OC oil spill was likely caused by dropped anchors from cargo ships waiting to enter the severely backed-up Los Angeles/Long Beach ports.
Steel’s legislation came after President Biden ignored her request for federal declaration of emergency and federal investigation of the oil spill.
“I asked President Biden for a federal investigation into the spill before that request for a declaration [of emergency], and I asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to do the same thing, and I didn’t hear from either of them. And then, I asked President Biden for a federal investigation into this spill, and I shared this letter with the entire California delegation. Not one Democrat signed on it,” Steel said in an interview
The Stopping Hazardous Incidents in the Pacific (SHIP) Act is in response to the 126,000 gallon oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach that devastated the local environment and forced coastal cities to close down their beaches after deceased oiled animals and tar balls began washing up on the coast.
“The SHIP Act would ban cargo ships from idling or anchoring in the coastal waters of Southern California for the next 180 days. It’s time to get the ports working again and get these ships moving and out of our waters,” Steel wrote on Twitter.
In the letter addressed to Biden, Steel and other Southern California congressional leaders said a federal investigation is paramount to find out who is at fault for the leak as well as how to stop more leaks from happening in the future.
“We as Members of Congress who represent Southern California demand that your Administration immediately open a full federal investigation into the pipeline’s history of violations, the causes of the spill, any failures or delays by federal officials to sufficiently respond to the spill as quickly as possible, and whether federal officials engaged in an effort to conceal these failures and delays,” the letter writes.