California declares state of emergency over oil spill
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency due to the oil spill in Orange County, with miles of popular beaches closed for what may be months.
Why it matters: The 127,000-gallon spill from an Amplify Energy pipeline about 5 miles offshore is among the largest spills in recent California history. It's causing oil to wash ashore, coating wildlife.
Where it stands: With an unusually high number of ships sitting offshore, waiting to bring their cargo into the Port of Long Beach, officials investigating the cause of the spill suspect that a ship's anchor may have caused the tear in the pipeline, and they hope to find out more about this possibility.
What we're watching: Federal and state officials opened a criminal investigation into the cause of the spill.
- The full toll on wildlife is not yet known, but the region from Laguna Beach north to Huntington Beach is home to seals, whales, dolphins and birds, among other species.