Summerland beach, California. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
Following a year marked by beach closures and health warnings at Summerlamd Beach – a Santa Barbara County beach sullied by leaking crude oil- State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) has just introduced a bill to monitor and cap California’s old, abandoned and leaking oil wells.
Senate Bill 900, the Coast Oil Well Cleanup Act, would require that the California State Lands Commission plug very old “orphaned” oil wells in California waters when the original oil company that operated the well is out of business and cannot be held responsible. It will also require an in- depth study of similarly abandoned and unused oil wells along the California coast.
It is estimated that there are more than 200 of these so-called ‘legacy’ wells in California, the majority located along the Summerland and Ellwood beaches in Santa Barbara County and along the Central Coast…
New bill to take a closer look at oil wells and natural seepage along Santa Barbara Coast, KCBX Central Coast Public Radio
A new bill that would require the state to study unused oil wells along the California Coast is being considered by Sacramento lawmakers…
Company Responsible for Santa Barbara County Oil Spill Had Numerous Safety, Maintenance Infractions: Report, The Los Angeles Times (05-21-2015)
Pains Pipeline, the large Texas-based company responsible for the pipe that ruptured in Santa Barbara County, has accumulated 175 safety and maintenance infractions since 2006, according to federal records…
When You Drill, You Spill; Huffington Green (05-27-2015)
The Santa Barbara County spill, one of the largest in California history, reiterates what we already know: We can’t extract oil and transport it without putting our beaches, wildlife, and coastal communities at risk. The sad fact is, when you drill, you spill.
3,200 Gulf wells unplugged, unprotected lie abandoned beneath the Gulf of Mexico, CBS News (04-20-2011)
More than 3,200 oil and gas wells classified as active lie abandoned beneath the Gulf of Mexico, with no cement plugging to help prevent leaks that could threaten the same waters fouled by last year’s BP spill. These wells likely pose an even greater environmental threat than the 27,000 wells in the Gulf that have been plugged and classified officially as “permanently abandoned” or “temporarily abandoned…”
Federal records show steady stream of oil spills in gulf since 1964, Washington Post (07-24-2010)
The oil and gas industry’s offshore safety and environmental record in the Gulf of Mexico has become a key point of debate over future drilling, but that record has been far worse than is commonly portrayed by many industry leaders and lawmakers…
27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico, AP / Huffington Green (07-09-2010)
More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one, not industry, not government, is checking to see if they are leaking…