• ECHO Action Editor

Film Preview: "Broke: The Santa Barbara Oil Pipeline Spill of 2015"


There is a significant oil spill somewhere in the US every 2 1/2 days. This film is about the "Refugio spill" caused by a break in Plains All-American Pipeline, line 901, on May 19, 2015. That spill sent 140,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Gaviota Coast and into the ocean. We started filming at Refugio State Beach that afternoon. Crude oil tumbled in the surf, sent toxic fumes in the air, and killed sea life as the Coast Guard mobilized to respond.

This fall I'll be sending the film out to film festivals. The story unfolds through a former County fire captain and petroleum services engineer, environmental leaders, fishermen, an olive ranch family who suffered chemical pneumonia, elected officials, snowy plover monitors, pelican rehabilitators, volunteers who worked on the clean-up, pipeline safety experts, the spokesman for Plains All-American Pipeline Ltd., and others.

The film highlights the reaction of the community who came together in protest marches and healing ceremonies, rescued birds and marine mammals, cleaned the oil off our beaches, and demanded more stringent spill prevention and response. The community's actions stand in stark contrast to the insensitivity of the oil industry and particularly Plains All-American Pipeline, Ltd. Plains still faces both criminal and civil lawsuits.

It's a one-hour environmental story with a peek back at the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill that helped launch the environmental movement, EPA, and clean air and water laws, and a look forward to a fossil free future.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign at

#oilspill #fossilfuels


© 2020 ECHO Action: #FossilFree603  • •

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