FAIRFIELD — A proposed law that would require oil and gas drilling operators to cover more of the cost for required environmental cleanup passed a fiscal review Wednesday in the state Legislature.
The Assembly Appropriations Committee gave its blessing to Senate Bill 665 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis. The bill heads next to the full Assembly for consideration.
SB 665 would update bonding requirements to help ensure that oil and gas operators, and not taxpayers, are responsible for the cost of repairing environmental damage caused during drilling.
California taxpayers paid some $16 million to remedy environmental violations related to oil and gas wells between the 1999-2000 and 2012-13 budget years, according to the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources within the California Natural Resources Agency. The state collected $2.6 million from those responsible for the damage.
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