California lawmakers are expected to vote soon on a bill sponsored by San Francisco Baykeeper to fund oil spill prevention and response. Read recent news coverage here. We'll keep you updated on the results of the vote.
Baykeeper is proud to be sponsoring State legislation to ensure adequate funding for oil spill prevention and response throughout California. Assembly Bill 1112 would also lead to better oversight of fuel transfers to ships, called bunkering, when it happens over open water. The bill passed the Assembly, all of the policy committees in the State Senate and will likely be heard on the Senate Floor in early September. However, it’s going to require an organized effort to counter the opposition of the Western States Petroleum Association and BP, which is trying to kill the bill over a penny and a half increase per barrel of oil.
BP and the oil industry as a whole are demonstrating extreme insensitivity in the wake of the Gulf oil well failure last year, which was the largest ever recorded and has cost untold billions in damages. It’s critical that we make sure California has the expertise and capacity to respond to spills in California and elsewhere. This modest, targeted and overdue fee is designed to equip the small and highly-skilled staff of the Office of Spill Prevention and Response, which is part of the Department of Fish and Game.