50 years after a massive spill, Santa Barbara remains tied to oil

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More than 3,600 seabirds died in the wake of the 1969 oil spill. Photo courtesy of Bud Bottoms

Southern California’s largest utility company is suing Santa Barbara County for failing to prepare for last winter’s deadly debris flows. Award-winning author George Saunders believes fiction can help bring the country back together. And it’s been 50 years since an oil rig off the coast of Santa Barbara spilled 3 million gallons of crude oil into the Pacific and brought the environmental movement to the nation’s consciousness.



Kathryn Barnes