On May 19 an underground pipeline along the Santa Barbara, Calif., coastline ruptured, and oil seeped down a storm drain that dumped as much as 105,000 gallons of crude oil into the water and onto the beach.

Oil is piped from drilling platforms offshore to pump stations and processing facilities on land. This is particularly alarming since pipelines are often considered safer than tankers for transporting oil. An update from the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the cleanup, states that it is about nine miles long and has divided into two areas — one about two miles offshore.

And is a very small spill.

At risk are migratory whales and rare seabirds. Fishing and shellfish harvesting were closed for a mile on either side of a popular coastal campsite.

A spokesman for the company responsible for the spill said, “We’re sorry this accident has happened, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience to the community.”

This is much more than an inconvenience. It is more than a local situation. The American people are paying for another environmental disaster.

Do not let our politicians grease their political palms on the backs of our natural environment. We must say “no” to seismic testing and drilling off the South Carolina coast. It is not environmentally safe, nor will it be fiscally efficacious in the short term or the long run.

We the people, our fellow creatures and the water and land that support us will be degraded in ways we cannot now anticipate.

Patti Holsclaw

Little Oak Island

Folly Beach