Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Where It All Began...

Thought many of you would be interested in two videos of Santa Barbara in 1969, plus a time capsule of environmental reporting as it existed at the time-- this series predates PBS and much of the environmental movement...and was the first eco TV series in the US.

"This program examines the controversial 1969 off-shore oil leak near Santa Barbara and demonstrates how the blame belongs not only to the oil companies, but to government, scientific, and civic parties as well."

Video 1 | Video 2

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Anonymous Jojo Milo said...

These videos are a fantastic reminder that this happened 30 years ago. That nothing close to this has occurred in the channel for 30 years. That the wells have continued to reduce pressure in the strata thus reducing natural oil and gas. The oil is used regionally ro reduce the price pressures where the working man pays the highest prices in the nation for gasoliine. So theree is no more obvious conclusion to come to than lets shut them down.

5/01/2009 9:20 AM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

Just what I need to do is watch 2 hours of lurid local history after watching a 2 hour PBS Special about currently Imperiled Puget Sound and Chesapeake Bay.

I watched the recommended videos. I wish it were as simple as>>"to Get Oil Out you have to use detergent."

The 1969 oil mishap was diminished by comparison with airline crashes in the ocean by the Great Master of Distraction Union Oil President Fred Hartley who testified in congress: "Mr. Chairman I think we have to look at these problems relatively. I'm always tremdously impressed at the publicity that the deaths of birds received vs. the loss of people in our country in this day in age. When I think of the folks that gave up their lives and they came down into the ocean off Los Angeles some 3 weeks ago and the fact that our society forgets about that within a 24 hr period I think relative to that the fact that we have had no loss of life from this instant is important."

5/01/2009 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

The funny thing that we learned is that if you force oil companies to comply with regulations to protect the environment, they will put the time and money into doing the right thing (except for Greka for some wierd reason). Absent regulations they will do nothing to protect the environment. The lesson from this is, make sure you regulate the heck out of them and they will produce oil safely and still make a profit.

5/01/2009 9:39 PM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

Another fantastic reminder is that oil production is risky. Spills occur at anytime and everywhere. It is important to care not only for what happens here at Santa Barbara's coastline but on land and elsewhere. Whether a spill occurs in a remote county region, Alaska, Australia, Pakistan, the Gulf or Seattle's city streets oil production and use is detrimental to the planet we live on. Oil and it's uses has brought on a "fantastic" age but it is time to progress and move on to cleaner and renewable technologies.

5/02/2009 11:26 AM  
Anonymous So very confused said...

So why then did GOO and EDC embrace and continue to push the scary slant drilling that PXP proposes in these same waters?? Leave out the so-called "end date" argument---isn't even one day of more slant drilling a risk? If not, why not?

5/02/2009 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Leaving out the "end date" argument really leaves out the whole quid pro quo deal. The production curve for an oil field is not determined by how much oil is in the resevoir (very rarely are fields pumped "dry"). Rather, the production curve is determined by the price of oil. The longer a field is produced the more expensive it is to get oil out of it and the quality of the oil decreases just as the amount of water and sand in whatever you bring up increases. When oil is cheap, the "end date" is earlier because the selling price of the lower quality oil is just not worth the production cost. The more expensive oil is, the longer life the field has. GOO and EDC probably know this and were betting that the price of oil over the long term will increase therefore increasing the project life indefinately. By negotiating an artificial "end date," they were ensuring that the project would cease operations regardless of the price of oil. I believe that there was a land give away as part of the deal as well that would have left a lot of open space undeveloped. Was the deal a good one? Maybe or maybe not. Good or not though, it was rational.

5/02/2009 2:46 PM  
Anonymous birdy said...

Wow, Susan Black in the first video was terrific. Wonder what happened to her.

5/03/2009 1:25 AM  

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