Oil Platforms’ Removal?: Reefing the Superior Environmental Option

Reaching the end of their economic oil producing lifetimes, many of California’s and specifically Santa Barbara’s offshore platforms are in the process of being decommissioned. They can either be fully removed and taken to scrap yards on land, or they can be turned into state-managed artificial reefs through California’s Marine Resources Legacy Act. Why wouldn’t one take advantage of the marine habitat inadvertently created by our dormant oil platforms?

On December 7, 2023, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) recommending the full removal of California’s 23 offshore oil platforms in federal waters, following a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) conducted to assess decommissioning options for platforms, pipelines, and other related infrastructure. However, upon close review, the PEIS and ROD appear to have reached misguided and detrimental conclusions due to critical oversights in their analyses.

News article on 9 January 2024 by Asher Radziner from montecitojournal.net


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