In essence, the Santa Barbara disaster is but another example of a phenomenon which affects all life on earth in the twentieth century: environmental pollution wrought by unimpeded, or at best inadequately impeded, technological advancement. If this were all that the disaster entailed, it would merit little more than a footnote or a paragraph in a comprehensive study of the large problem. But, as will be revealed in the pages following, Santa Barbara's problem is unique since it casts into relief a wide spectrum of legal, political, and economic considerations which are in desperate need of examination. As such, it provides a case study raising many questions, the answers to which will have broad implications for the whole area of environmental quality. The first step in such an analysis, then, is to define the characters and the setting in which they interact.
David J. Walmsley,
Oil Pollution Problems Arising out of Exploitation of the Continental Shelf: The Santa Barbara Disaster,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol9/iss3/8