President Joe Biden hosted an Oct. 13 “listening session “on the global supply chain bottlenecks. This comes alongside news that the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will begin working 24/7, a move the administration hopes will alleviate the backlog of cargo ships. Yet while the Biden administration is finally turning its attention to one crisis of its own making, other crises, like the oil spill off the coast of California, are occurring as a result of the administration’s lack of action.
“While Democrats trip over themselves to blame their favorite scapegoat, ‘big oil,’ for the California spill, the facts tell a very different story. The unprecedented, massive bottleneck of cargo ships in the port is a direct threat to critical underwater infrastructure across the California coastline. When ships are forced to anchor in overly congested waters, disasters are inevitable. Yet what is the response we’ve seen thus far from Democrats? Nothing but placing their burdens on private businesses and an already-strained workforce, attempting to eliminate the domestic oil and gas industry, and increasing our dependence on foreign imports. No amount of regulations will solve the crisis of President Biden’s own making. While he is paying Americans more money to stay home instead of going back to work and implementing mandatory vaccine requirements that will add to the record number of Americans quitting their jobs under his tenure, companies simply cannot find manpower to drive trucks, offload ships, fulfill orders, or do any of the other millions of jobs needed to keep our supply chain functional. It would be laughable if it wasn’t such a serious issue, one that has already had massive economic implications and is now having massive environmental implications. Until President Biden and congressional Democrats look at the facts and take responsibility for this bottleneck and the subsequent oil spill, we’re going to keep finding ourselves in the same tragic situation.” – House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
“The fact that this oil spill likely occurred due to the growing number of container ships bottled up offshore demonstrates how the entire infrastructure network is interconnected and why we have to focus on the functionality of this core system. Its causes are rooted in the ongoing supply chain issues that this administration has done little to address. The policies of the President and his party’s leaders in Congress are exacerbating or ignoring the underlying supply chain issues, from their mishandling of the COVID response in ways that are prolonging unemployment and worker shortages across the economy, to their push for a multi-trillion-dollar spending spree that is driving up prices of everything from gas to groceries. On infrastructure specifically, the President and the Majority are using the issue to advance their socialist agendas instead of concentrating on addressing congestion and freight bottlenecks. Their first step now needs to be recognizing that the core purpose of the Nation’s infrastructure network is to move people and goods safely and efficiently. Americans are paying a heavy price for these failures, including skyrocketing inflation and the growing scarcity of goods on the shelves that will get worse with Christmas fast approaching.” – House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.)
On Oct. 1, 2021, authorities discovered a rupture in an underwater pipeline that resulted in thousands of gallons of oil spilling into the ocean and onto the California coastline. While cleanup crews worked rapidly to contain and resolve the spill, wildlife and sensitive habitats were still adversely affected.
Biden and congressional Democrats were quick to blame oil corporations for the spill; however, investigators for the U.S. Coast Guard already determined that the pipeline was likely struck by a large ship’s anchor, resulting in the rupture. This news comes as the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles face an enormous bottleneck of cargo ships, unable to dock and unload as a result of supply chain backlogs exacerbated by COVID-19. These bottlenecks are overcrowding U.S. waters and forcing ships to linger offshore in previously restricted areas, thereby threatening underwater infrastructure, including oil pipelines.
Until the Biden administration gets Americans back to work, resolves the supply chain crises, and alleviates the bottleneck of ships at our ports, tragic incidents like this oil spill will be the inevitable result.