Ever gaze up from a Southern California beach and wonder about the fate of the oil and gas rigs dotting the horizon? Fellow blogger Sean Hecht has just published, with UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, an assessment of California’s new law governing “rigs-to-reefs” conversions–and suggests that lawmakers have much more work to do to get rigs’ fates right.
AB 2503 authorizes the State, for the first time, to consider allowing oil and gas drilling platforms at the end of their useful life to remain at least partially in place on the ocean floor. Sean’s report, “California’s New Rigs-to-Reefs Law,” reviews the policy arguments for and against rigs-to-reefs efforts and concludes that California’s legislation is ultimately flawed. He argues that the new law unwisely contrains the State’s discretion to make the best decision for each rig; elevates the interests of platform operators above sound policy considerations; and may create liability problems that cost the State significant time and money. Check out the report here for more detail.