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NO Drill, NO Spill, NO Kill — Poster of the Week

This poster was produced in response to the Santa Barbara oil spill which occurred in January and February 1969 in the Santa Barbara Channel. It was the largest oil spill in United States waters at the time, and now ranks third after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon and 1989 Exxon Valdez spills. It remains the largest oil spill to have occurred in the waters off California. Within a ten-day period, an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into the Channel and onto the beaches of Santa Barbara County in Southern California, fouling the coastline from Goleta to Ventura as well as the northern shores of the four northern Channel Islands. The spill had a significant impact on marine life in the Channel, killing thousands of sea birds, as well as marine animals such as dolphins, elephant seals, and sea lions. The aftermath of the spill inspired then-Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin to organize what came to be known as "Earth Day", when he succeeded in amassing some 20 million people to the cause of educating people on issues related to the environment on April 20, 1970. The public outrage engendered by the spill resulted in numerous pieces of environmental legislation within the next several years, legislation that forms the legal and regulatory framework for the modern environmental movement in the U.S. But oil spills keep happening, and will keep happening as long as oil is drilled to satisfy our dependence upon fossil fuels. This week another massive oil leak occurred in California. About 127,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Pacific Ocean onto Huntington Beach in Orange County, killing wildlife, threatening ecosystems, and closing beaches. Meanwhile, our tax dollars continue to subsidize oil companies at a minimum of $20 billion annually! When will we ever learn?


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