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Judge fines pipeline company $3.3 million for 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill
by Dan Bacher
Missing from the press releases from the Santa Barbara County DA’s Office, Attorney General’s Office and environmental groups and the superficial press coverage of the spill, the investigation, the jury trial and sentencing is one of the biggest and most ironic stories regarding the Refugio Oil Spill. In a classic example of the deep regulatory capture that pervades what passes for “marine protection” in California, the head of the oil industry trade association, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), that lobbies for the Plains All American Pipeline corporation happens to be the very same “marine guardian” who chaired the panel that created the so-called "marine protected areas" that were fouled by the spill.
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