Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA) gave an exclusive interview to Breitbart News on Sunday. She disclosed that Joe Biden ignored a request for a declaration of emergency under federal law in response to an oil spill off of the coast near Los Angeles.
She said that she asked the president for an emergency declaration as a result of the oil spill. She added that she made the same request of California’s Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom. Although both requests were made before she demanded a federal investigation into the spill, neither request for a declaration of emergency was responded to. She stated that no Democrats signed on to her requests, even though they were shared with California’s entire legislative delegation.
Steel said that her office checked with the White House’s congressional liaison office, and they confirmed that they received the request, although no response ever came.
Steel was joined in her letter by fellow California Republican Reps. Ken Calvert, Young Kim, and Darrell Issa. The letter told the president that they demanded an investigation into the history of the pipeline that led to the offshore spill, including any previous regulatory violations and the cause of the recent collapse. The group also requested that the investigation determine whether any federal officials attempted to conceal any failures or delays in enforcing regulations on the pipeline.
The letter indicated that recent reporting suggests that federal regulatory officials may have known about the pipeline leak at least 10 hours before making it public. Any delay in making the public aware of such a spill can significantly impact the ability of the local community to take steps to protect property and the local ecosystem.
Reporting indicated that an offshore pipeline leaked around 126,000 gallons of oil that caused a spill affecting wildlife and washing up on local beaches. A ship’s anchor is suspected as a possible cause of the accident and subsequent leak.
Steel added that cargo ships “are piling up,” and there is not sufficient room along the coastline to handle the backup of vessels waiting to unload cargo at California’s ports. She suggested that the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) review existing pipeline navigation maps for accuracy.