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Huntington Beach oil spills stimulate legislation banning California offshore drills

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Orange County legislators warn of damage caused by a major oil spill off Huntington Beach in October and will end offshore oil production from California-controlled waters rigs by 2024. I submitted a bill. Legal issues from the oil industry.


The law affects 11 oil leases off the coastline of Orange and Ventura counties. It is also the State-owned Land Commission, the body that oversees those contracts, Oil company Before the nation takes action. The cost of buying or canceling these leases is unknown, but the size of the industry suggests that price tags can cost thousands of dollars to the state, if not hundreds of millions of dollars.

Senator Davemin of the Irvine Democratic Party said action was needed to protect the California coastline from another catastrophic oil spill similar to October. This caused widespread environmental damage and led to beach closures that hurt the economy of the Orange County coast. community. The Oil rig Offshore and its dilapidated infrastructure continue to pose a serious threat to the California coast, he said.

“It’s obvious to me, and I think it’s clear to anyone looking at these rig status types that it’s a time bomb,” Min said Wednesday. “You are asking for more and more spills, and we know that this is just horrifying for our coastline, our coastal tourism economy, and our marine ecosystems.”

Kevin Slagle, a spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Association, said the proposal would reduce California’s local oil supply and burden California taxpayers. Eliminating oil debt is equivalent to a government “acquisition,” which would demand compensation from those companies, he said.

“Eliminating existing offshore production puts us at risk of claiming California by importing more of the energy we need from foreign sources,” Slugul said. ..

The chairman of the California Building and Construction Trade Council, a labor union that represents oil workers and has a great deal of influence on Sacramento, also expressed concern about the potential impact of the law. To reduce local oil production, the state will need to import more oil on tanker vessels, which could put more stress on California’s already crowded ports, said Council Chair Andrew. Meredith said.

“California has a constant beat to stop oil and gas production, and there is no corresponding responsible plan to power our state,” he said. “Almost half of the oil coming out of Amazon is already in California, because hundreds of tankers are idle in the port waiting to unload with more oil in tanks in California. , Need to significantly increase carbon emissions? “

Min promised to submit a bill shortly after an underwater oil pipeline spilled an estimated 25,000 gallons into the waters off Huntington Beach in October. The cause of the spill is under investigation, but authorities believe the anchor of the container ship was dragged and damaged in the pipeline.

Min’s bill will not affect 23 oil platforms in federal waters located beyond the buffer zone three miles from the coast, or pipelines extending from those facilities to the coastline. This includes oil platforms and pipelines related to recent oil spills. Oil wells operating on a city-owned artificial island off Long Beach are also unaffected by the law.

Mr. Min said his law is, in fact, two lease owners, California Resources Corp. And said it will only affect three active oil platforms off the Orange County coast operated by the DCOR oil company. Neither company was able to ask for comment.

If the bill is passed, the State Land Commission requires that all existing oil and gas leases in the state waters be terminated by 31 December 2023. Oil companies need to be compensated for the value of their holdings.

According to Min, these companies will have to pay for the elimination of these rigs, including capping all wells.

Mr. Min said he did not provide an estimate of the state’s cost to close these oil businesses, which is still under evaluation, but between $ 25 million and $ 50 million per oil drilling rig. He believes it could be. Given the state’s expected $ 31 billion budget surplus and the threat that offshore rigs pose to California’s $ 44 billion coastal economy, he manages it, given the proper use of taxpayers’ dollars. He said it would be a possible cost.

At a recent legislative hearing on the Orange County oil spill, Jennifer Luckesi, Managing Director of the State Land Commission, said 11 oil and gas leases in state waters were issued between 1938 and 1968. Said. She said it is “economical” for oil companies to continue production.

Min and other lawmakers have expressed concern that the current operators of these offshore facilities may eventually abandon the platform if the oil deposits run out.If so, then file Bankruptcy protectionState taxpayers may have to pay the cost of removing the rig, they said.


The failure of California’s first plan to stop offshore oil drilling cast a shadow over new efforts


2022 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Quote: The Huntington Beach oil spill inspires a law banning offshore drilling in California (February 10, 2022).

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Huntington Beach oil spills stimulate legislation banning California offshore drills

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