Company Behind Devastating California Oil Spill Had Long History of Violations
SPILLING THE TEA
The company that owns the pipeline responsible for an oil spill off the California coastline has been cited by federal regulators for 125 violations, with more than a hundred of those citations being handed down in the last 11 years. Three violations cost the company, Beta Operating Co., a total of $85,000, with two of those fines springing from a 2014 incident where an unprotected worker was shocked with nearly 100,000 volts of electricity. The Beta field, where the two platforms suspected to be the origin of Saturday’s spill are located, was a subsidiary of Memorial Production Partners until early 2017, when the parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Several months later, Memorial emerged as Amplify Energy Corp., which was using earnings generated from its fields to pay down $235 million in debt, according to Reuters.
This weekend’s spill dumped an estimated 126,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean and onto miles of California’s beaches. Amplify’s stock plunged more than 40 percent in trading on Monday. Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said that the beaches affected could be closed for weeks or even months. “In a year that has been filled with incredibly challenging issues, this oil spill constitutes one of the most devastating situations that our community has dealt with in decades,” she said.