Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

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Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities
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Oil platforms off Santa Barbara coast (file photo)

Source: Office of Sen. Jackson

As the state works to combat climate change and move toward a fossil fuel-free future, Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara)’s legislation to assess the eventual price tag of shutting down and cleaning up California’s oil and gas infrastructure.

Senate Bill 551 directs the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to develop a process for assessing the costs of decommissioning all oil and gas infrastructure within its jurisdiction, and requires operators of an oil or gas facility to report its total liability for plugging and abandoning all wells and other facilities beginning in July 1, 2022 and at least every five years thereafter.

“I am very pleased Governor Newsom signed this bill into law, recognizing it as a key step in the planning process as we transition away from fossil fuels. If we do not know or fully plan for these costs, the public, in far too many instances, will be left unfairly holding the bag for this industry’s mess,” said Jackson.

Over the next several decades, California will face the significant challenge of infrastructure that remains from oil and gas production.  While oil and gas operators are required to bear the ultimate financial responsibility for shutting down their wells, removing infrastructure, and remediating sites, in several cases they are refusing to do so, leaving California taxpayers paying the costs.

One example of California state funds used to decommission oil and gas wells can be found in the offshore production off the Santa Barbara coast.

The decommissioning of Platform Holly, initiated in 2017 as a result of the 2015 Refugio oil spill and subsequent bankruptcy of oil operator Venoco, is currently estimated to cost upwards of $180 million. Similarly, the state now bears responsibility for shutting down Rincon Island, an artificial offshore structure formerly owned by a now-defunct and bankrupt operator. Estimated costs to the state are more than $50 million.

This legislation is part of Jackson’s long-standing efforts to address the fiscal and environmental impacts of oil and gas production in California. Her prior legislation includes:

  • Senate Bill 834, which became law on January 1, 2019, blocks the Trump Administration from expanding federal oil drilling off the California coast by ensuring that new pipelines and other infrastructure needed to support federal oil development cannot be built in California waters.
  • Senate Bill 44, Coastal Well Cleanup and Remediation Act (2017): Requires the State Lands Commission to monitor and plug orphaned wells when the original oil company that operated the well no longer exists.
  • Senate Bill 414, Rapid Oil Spill Response Act (2015): Authored in the aftermath of the Refugio Oil Spill to make oil spill response faster, more effective, and environmentally friendly.
  • Senate Bill 295 (2015): Helps reduce the risk of oil spills from pipelines by requiring the State Fire Marshall to annually inspect all intrastate pipelines and pipeline operators.

 

 Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

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AdamVant Oct 14, 2019 03:56 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

90% of our electricity is generated from oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power. Our society depends on generating electricity. Electricity is what keeps us barely civilized. Without electricity there is no heat, no water, no lights, no computers, no phones. Progressives think electricity is generated by fairy dust and unicorn farts. Where do you Progressives think we will get our electricity? Such fools.

macpuzl Oct 15, 2019 03:26 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

Of course, that's not what's being said on the page you linked. It simply details current levels of sources for electrical energy production. It doesn't go psycho and start ranting about how you can't use renewables. In fact, the EIA web pages in toto advocate the increased use of renewables. When you're flapping around grasping at web pages to make a point, you should at least read them.

AdamVant Oct 15, 2019 03:16 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

Here you go, A-1571177361: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3. You can't move away from coal, nuclear, and natural gas. You can't generate enough electricity to power our society. I don't pay attention to silly people who think solar panels and windmills are the answer. Photovoltaic cells have been around since the 50s. Windmills have been around since 100 AD. If we could power our society with intermittent sun and wind then we would be by now. If you want to believe in some imaginary source of energy then go ahead. I laugh at you.

macpuzl Oct 15, 2019 03:14 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

And, to further quote the EIA: =============================================================================== "In 2018, 28% of global electricity was generated from renewable energy sources, most (96%) of which was produced from hydropower, wind, and solar technologies. In its International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that renewables will collectively increase to 49% of global electricity generation by 2050. Of the top three renewable sources, EIA expects solar’s share of generation to grow the fastest and hydroelectric’s share to grow the slowest. EIA’s international outlook includes analysis of eight countries and eight multicountry regions. Different regional- and technology-specific factors influence the growth rates of renewable technologies throughout the world. Resource availability, renewable policies, regional load growth, and declining technology costs drive EIA’s projected increase in global electricity generation from solar technologies. As more solar power systems have been installed, installation costs have experienced the steepest cost declines of all renewable technologies in recent years, and EIA expects that they will continue to decline as a result of learning-by-doing effects." =============================================================================== Full report available at: =============================================================================== https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=41533 ===============================================================================

a-1574325132 Oct 15, 2019 03:08 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

ADAMVANT - you are 100% wrong. First of all your figures are wrong (cite a reviewable source like we all did, not just a name). Second, no one is pursuing a "no electricity" future, we just want to move away from non-renewable sources of energy. Why are you so viciously against that?

a-1574325132 Oct 15, 2019 03:11 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

Adamvant - from your own source (US Energy Information Administration): "EIA forecasts renewables will be fastest growing source of electricity generation" ---- https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=38053# --------------how does it feel to be so wrong?

macpuzl Oct 15, 2019 03:07 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

Once again, it's illuminating of your value system that you equate civilization with electrification; that is, technology. Civilization is our societal pact to live in groups, which you seem to think is extremely frail. It just shows what you think of your fellow citizens.

AdamVant Oct 15, 2019 03:03 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

Red Creek: 35.1% of our electricity is generated from natural gas, 27.4% from coal, 0.6% from petroleum, 0.3% from other gases, 19.3% from nuclear, and 7.0% from hydropower. A measly 1.6% is generated from solar and 6.6% from wind. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. Without electricity our American society would not exist. Without electricity there would be no lights, no water, no heat. It'd be anarchy. We'd be barbarians. That's apparently OK with you virtue-signaling Progressives who continue to believe in your fairy tale utopia. Who will be the leaders of your utopia? Probably President Santa Claus and Vice-President Easter Bunny.

a-1574325132 Oct 15, 2019 01:44 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

at 1:00pm - No need to wish us "good luck" with renewables, we're already successfully using them. Over 20% of our energy now comes from renewable energy. We HAVE set the example and we ARE starting now. Do you not know how to use the internet? Here's a couple articles: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2019/06/10/u-s-renewable-power-capacity-surpasses-coal-for-the-first-time/#1a192d4d655b ------------- and ---------------------https://e360.yale.edu/digest/renewable-energy-capacity-now-exceeds-coal-in-the-u-s

a-1574325132 Oct 15, 2019 12:57 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

It’ll be interesting when gruesome Newsom gets rid of the oil producing wells - societal breakdown will become the new normal. And then we’ll all be at the mercy of the criminal element. All the libs will be hiding from their own shadows.

a-1574325132 Oct 15, 2019 12:33 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

They're afraid of "inconvenience." That's where you might have to sacrifice just a teeny bit of your time and then maybe start caring about to help reverse this downhill slide we're on environmentally. If you're selfish and self-centered and don't give a s--t about quality of life now or later, then oh . . . the horror of being inconvenienced.

Red Creek Oct 14, 2019 08:40 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

Not True ADAMVANT . Where do your numbers come from? According to the Energy Information Office of the U.S. government, 63% of electricity is generated from fossil fuels. As of March 2019, the total energy consumption EIA statistics for 2018: 17% of energy came from renewables, 19 % nuclear and 63.5 % fossil fuels of coal, gas and oil. https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3 . More importantly, even with resistance from the present administration, non- fossil fuel use continues to decline, while renewables slowly gain ground.

a-1574325132 Oct 14, 2019 06:03 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

ADAMVENT please provide a reference to your claim about progressives' beliefs on the source of electricity. Clearly you must think hydrocarbons are going to flow out of the earth for hundreds more years 'coz, y'know, JC is your saviour. Unicorns and fairy dust indeed.

macpuzl Oct 14, 2019 04:19 PM
Governor Signs Bill to Assess Cost of Shutting Down Oil Facilities

Simple - phase out coal, oil, nuclear, and natural gas. You know, the toxic ones. Phase in renewables. Maybe you can figure out what those are. Reptiles seem to run on hot air in the venturi between their ears. Such fools.

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