Forty years ago and about 100 miles south, an ecological disaster unfolded that is still shaping national debate. It would be the worst oil spill in the nation’s history until the Exxon Valdez set a new standard.
The Vault’s first post on this subject July 16, 2008 has attracted hits almost every day since it was published.
During the month long fiasco, images of dying birds and seals were being broadcast on local evening news. The environmental movement was galvanized and given new national stature by this preventable accident.
Los Angles Times has a gallery of photos from the Santa Barbara oil spill.
About the time of the original Vault post the topic of offshore oil drilling became a football in the presidential campaign and since then new proposals for offshore drilling have been floated. Both the Los Angeles Times and San Jose Mercury News have published opinions on the subject.
The Los Angeles Times history blog, The Daily Mirror has published a front page from the spill as well.
Gasoline prices have taken a wild ride from over $5 a gallon to under $2 though they are creeping back up again.
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