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Oil and sea water collect in a tidepool in Newport Beach, California, on Oct. 3. Photo: Michael Heiman/Getty Images

One of the largest oil spills in recent California history has contaminated a swath of popular beaches south of Long Beach, including Huntington Beach.

Driving the news: The spill of as many as 126,000 gallons of crude oil, which is thought to have emanated from a leaking pipeline about 4.5 miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, was detected Saturday.

The latest: Oil began washing up on beaches by early Sunday, and closures may expand and last for months.

  • As of Sunday evening, 3,150 gallons of oil have been recovered from the spill area, the Coast Guard said.
  • The pipeline from which it leaked has been shut off, Martyn Willsher, CEO of Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp., which owns the pipeline, told the AP.
  • The leaking pipeline connects to oil production and drilling platforms, the AP reports, both of which are in federal waters.
  • The full scope of wildlife impacts is not yet fully known.

The big picture: A host of extreme weather events amplified by climate change have battered California in recent months, from record heat to some of the largest wildfires in state history.

  • For some residents, the spill is just another reminder of how California is ground zero for climate change.
  • Wildfire photographer Stuart Palley captured this in an Instagram post: "The forests of my childhood have burned, and now the beaches from youth are covered in oil."

Go deeper: Major oil spill reaches California beaches, killing wildlife

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 18, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Visualizing oil's economic footprint in Texas

Data: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Note: A very small amount of the totals reflect mining activity; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Oil and gas production is a key part of the Texas economy. But the state is poised to perform well even if tackling global warming sends the sector into decline, a Dallas Fed analysis argues.

The big picture: Energy price swings have long affected Texas' financial fortunes, with sharp declines "depressing broader activity."

1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.