An oil rig sits offshore. The Trump administration has announced a plan to open more ocean waters to oil drilling. Photo from Pixabay.
An oil rig sits offshore. Photo from Pixabay.

A bill to remove the limit on the amount of revenue deposited into the state’s Oil Trust Fund to increase funding for removal of abandoned oil and gas facilities in the Long Beach tidelands was introduced by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell.

AB 2404 is sponsored by the California State Lands Commission. It would lift the cap and reserve more revenue to ensure funds are available when oil operations cease, said O’Donnell, D-Long Beach Wednesday.

The fund is solely used to clean up abandoned oil wells within the Long Beach tidelands that are no longer in use, O’Donnell said. It reached its $300 million cap in June 2014 and has not grown since. The state’s share of abandonment liability is estimated at approximately $836 million, leaving a shortfall of $536 million, according to O’Donnell.

“Without a solvent trust fund, we will be on the hook for millions of dollars in oil abandonment costs,” O’Donnell said. “This bill ensures funding needed to protect our Long Beach coastline.”

The bill now awaits referral to its first policy committee.

—City News Service

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