Governor Vetoes Bill to Cap Old Oil Wells

Legislation aiming to properly cap seeping oil wells contaminating California beaches ​— ​most notably Summerland’s Becker Well ​— ​was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown, who instead directed “the Department of Conservation to work with the State Lands Commission to develop an inventory of legacy oil and gas wells … to determine the oil seepage locations, rates and environmental impacts,” he wrote. In his veto of SB 900 ​— ​authored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson ​— ​Brown emphasized that the proposed legislation would have tapped the state’s general fund. According to the Lands Commission, the inventory will build on actions already being undertaken to remediate the Becker Well, including funding for capping.

Clarification: Despite Gov. Brown’s veto of SB 900, efforts to properly cap Summerland’s long-abandoned Becker oil well are still very much progressing. The project will be presented by the State Lands Commission at 2 p.m., October 20, at Carpinteria City Hall.

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