Coastal Well Cleanup Bill Clears Senate

A survey team led by the State Lands Commission inspects Summerland Beach, where recent storms have uncovered historic oil wellheads.
Keith Hamm

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s Senate Bill 44 ​— ​the Coastal Oil Well Clean Up and Remediation Act ​— ​passed off the Senate floor last week on a 31-5 bipartisan vote. The bill aims to allocate up to $2 million annually ​— ​derived from state mineral leases ​— ​toward properly capping leaky coastal oil wells long-abandoned by companies no longer in business. Several of these so-called orphaned wellheads ​— ​such as the Becker Well (pictured)​— ​have fouled Summerland shores for years, prompting beach closures in 2015. Jackson’s bill now faces the Assembly.


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